Cooking on Fire’ Braai Competition

tumblr_oekw3d5flt1vo2kvdo1_400Ever since we started offering meals at DeKeurboom our chef has received a lot of compliments on his cooking. We decided to put him and some of our guests’ favourite recipes to the test. These are the recipes that won us gold at the ‘Cooking on Fire’ Braai Competition in Villiersdorp!

Pork Belly
We opted to use the Weber on the competition day, but the recipe stays the same whether you use a oven or Weber.

Pork Belly with the skin scored. (Our portion was about 1.5kg)
Rub skin side generously with salt, pepper and whole coriander seeds.
Place in the oven on a roasting rack on 240° for 30 min.
Thereafter turn down oven temperature to 160° for 2 hours.
Remove from oven and cover generously in ginger glaze and return to oven for 20 minutes.
(keep an eye on it to make sure the glaze does not burn)
When it’s done remove from oven, and let it rest for 10 -15 minutes.

Ginger Glaze
1.5 cups sugar
250ml water
cinnamon stick
fresh ginger (about three to four thumbs)

Peel and finely chop fresh ginger in a blender or food processor and set aside.
Place sugar, water and cinnamon stick in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat (from a rapid to a slow boil) and continue stirring until syrup starts thickening. Add finely chopped ginger, stir and remove from heat and let cool.
Pour glaze through sieve if you’d like to remove ginger pulp.
(I usually sieve the mixture to remove all pulp, but thereafter add two to three tablespoons of the pulp to the glaze – I like the fresh zesty zing biting on piece of ginger gives the pork belly)

Basil & Mint Baby Peas
(This is a very quick simple recipe, but serving it as soon as its ready is essential as it doesn’t keep well. I usually only start this one while my pork belly is resting out of the oven so we can dish up the moment it’s done.)

2 Cups Frozen Baby Peas (boiled for two minutes and drained)
Fresh basil and Mint, roughly chopped.
Cream – 100ml
Two Bacon strips diced.
Knob of Butter.

Heat butter in a pot on a medium and add bacon. When the bacon is cooked ad 1 cup of peas and cream and reduce heat. Finely mash pea, bacon and cream mixture in the pot. Add basil, mint and remaining peas and stir. Heat and serve.

tumblr_oekw3d5flt1vo2kvdo2_400Corn Bread:
(We tried a bunch of different corn bread recipes, and after a while realised a simple rule – Less is more. Stick to a couple of bold flavours, but don’t overcrowd your loaf with too many ingredients. It muddles the flavour and makes the loaf very brittle)

Polenta 220g
Baking Powder 2tsp
4 jalapenos thinly sliced (remove pips depending on how much heat you like)
Onion finely chopped
Cheese 100g cut into 5ml squares
Oil 180ml
2 eggs (lightly beaten)
250ml Soured Cream
215g Creamed Sweetcorn (the smaller can)

In a mixing bowl add together and mix all dry ingredients.
In a different bowl mix together all wet ingredients. Slowly add dry ingredients to the wet while stirring continuously.
Bake in a well-greased baking tin for 60min on 180°
Let the bread cool in the tin for 10 minutes after removing it from the oven.
(This prevents the crust from becoming too brittle, which makes the loaf hard to slice neatly)
Because the loaf is already very flavourful and moist it doesn’t need butter or spreads…but a slice with a touch of Bovril the next day is also a winner!

(A DeKeurboom original desert, best served with a cup of coffee after a meal)

Self Raising Flour – 2cups
1t salt
300ml lukewarm milk
Oil for deep frying

Cinnamon sticks
Caster sugar
Vanilla essence

Mix the two cups Self Raising Flour with the salt and slowly add the 300ml lukewarm milk to create a soft dough that falls off a spoon. Spoon the dough into a plastic bag and set aside.
In a pot heat the oil to a medium to warm heat.
(You want the little cake to take long enough to turn golden brown so the inside is cooked)
Cut a bottom corner of the bag to pipe golf ball size lumps of the dough into the hot oil.
(Don’t be tempted to make them bigger, as they will struggle to cook all the way to the center)
Turn the little cake in the oil to make sure both sides get golden brown evenly.
Remove from heat and place on draining paper.

Place the mascarpone in a mixing bowl and add a little vanilla essence and castor sugar and fold the mixture.
(You don’t want to make the mascarpone too sweet or ‘over work’ the mixture as this might cause it to separate.)
Place the mixture in a piping bag with a plain ‘filling’ nozzle attached.

With a sharp small knife cut an X into the bottom of each little cake (careful to not cut all the way through), and pipe a little mascarpone mixture into the centre of the cake. Press a cinnamon stick into the X sealing the mascarpone inside and creating a little lollipop.

Heat the honey and pour over the little cakes and serve with coffee.