HERITAGE DAY on September 24 is also recognised as National Braai Day in South Africa, but my feelings on the matter are: it’s lovely to have Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Chocolate Day, Hot Dog Day or whatever but we don’t really need an excuse to enjoy and celebrate love, parents, sausages in buns or confectionary; do those things every damn day!
But I also understand not everyone has unlimited opportunities so a public holiday – which now we have reached lockdown level 1, means Capetonians are expecting their right to a proper long weekend – and one with warm sunny weather forecast before a cold front arrives on Friday, is an excellent reason to make a fire, pour some drinks, and char those chops. If you don’t have braai facilities or friends to invite you around, you can still enjoy all the tasty benefits of the Maillard reaction at Middelvlei’s Boerebraai.
The Stellenbosch farm hosts these events Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays – and Thursday, September 24 – from 12pm till 3pm; for R265 a person you get a generous meal that’s straight out of Ouma’s kitchen. The resident braai mistress is Pinkie (above), who bakes the most amazing potbrood on the coals, and has been doing so for nine years. This bread is the first course, still warm and delightfully soft, with butter, snoek pâté and strawberry jam (if you have highly evolved tastebuds you can even combine the sweet and savoury). It’s incredibly tempting to ask for more but do save space for the main course.
Served in enamel bowls, you’ll receive a honey and mustard chicken sosatie, a piece of boerewors and a lamb chop. Sure, nowadays we can cook multiple-course gourmet meals on the fire but these three will always and forever remain the classic braai meats. Accompaniments include a braaibroodjie (obviously), pampoenkoekies (pumpkin fritters, bringing that slight sweetness to the plate), potato salad, and green salad. No frills, no fuss. Extra servings of meat can be ordered for an additional cost per item.
Boeretroos (coffee, is included in the price) but dessert costs extra; I recommend the piping hot malva pudding with creamy vanilla ice cream. It’s also the only dessert, so ja…
Middelvlei’s wines are available by the glass or the bottle, at very reasonable prices: from R105 a bottle, and R40 a glass. Boerebraai guests get a 10% discount on six or more bottles to take home, but keep the lockdown liquor regulations in mind.
The beautiful farm has walking and cycling trails if you want to work off the lunch. It’s a family-friendly venue so there’s lots of space for the children to play, and animals for them to meet. The adventurous can try quad biking. In the tasting room, you can sample a braaibroodjie and wine pairing, or even blend your own wine.
There are vegetarian and low-carb options for the braai, as well as a children’s meal for R65, and juice tastings. Booking is advised. Call 021 883 2565, email [email protected] click here for more information.
PHOTO CREDIT: BIANCA COLEMAN ©
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