Cookbook Club: Jan Braai and the burger of all burgers


Last week we celebrated Heritage Day, now also called National Braai Day thanks to Jan Braai, author of this month’s cookbook Die Demokratiese Republiek van Braai (the book is also available in English as The Democratic Republic of Braai). This guy is a genius for uniting the country with something that is truly South African – and with it comes good food and being all round sociable and happy.

The book is filled with amazing recipes that is cooked on the open fire, ranging from breakfasts, breads, amazing steaks and even dessert. I had a very hard time choosing a recipe, but since we’ve been trying to avoid bread lately it was the photograph of this Braai-Vryheidsvegter Burger that shouted celebration.It is meaty, amazingly saucy and has a slight zing that is subdued by a dollop of sour cream – it’s the stuff dreams are made of (I’m thinking of that first bite right now … oh!).

This is the one cookbook every South African should own. High five Jan Braai! 🙂




25 ml olive oil

2 red onions, chopped

2 red bell peppers, sliced

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

50 ml paprika

2 tomatoes, chopped

25 ml tomato paste

125 ml beef extract

1 kg steak mince

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

4 hamburger rolls, buttered

250 ml sour cream (I used plain yogurt)

Fresh parsley (I used rocket)


  1. Heat the oil in a pot and brown the onions and red pepper for around 4 minutes. Add the garlic.
  2. Add the cayenne pepper and paprika and stir to cover the onions. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste and beef extract and mix well. Cover the pot with a lid and simmer.
  3. To make the patties, divide the mince into 4 and form patties with your hands. Sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides and braai the patties on very hot coals for 8 minutes, turning it only once.
  4. When you start braaiing the patties, remove the lid from the sauce pot to thicken it.
  5. You can toast the inside of the rolls on a griddle.
  6. To assemble: roll, pattie, sauce, a spoon full of sour cream, chopped parsley.

And for the chicken lovers…


Rhona made the chicken burger with blue cheese and figs! It was beyond delicious. Check out the recipe at What To Do In The Garden Hood.


3 thoughts on “Cookbook Club: Jan Braai and the burger of all burgers

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