This posed a bit of a conundrum for me as most of my friends and family are several thousand miles a way on the other side of the world. Being the billy-no-mates that I am, I don’t really know anyone locally whose cookbook collection I can rifle through without security being called. So I must admit I cheated and asked the OH to choose me a recipe from his small but perfectly formed braai (that’s BBQ for the non South Africans among you) book collection.
Whilst these books might technically be on my shelves, they are the OH’s domain as being a stereotypically feeble female, I am rubbish at making fire. Either by luck or deception, the OH’s random recipe choice just happened to come from the best braai book we own, Fireworks by Jan Braai. And the recipe? Beef espetadas.
Hailing from Portugal, espetadas are essentially a beef kebab. We have quite a lot of Portuguese food here in South Africa, influenced by the early Portuguese settlers and also neighbouring Mozambique (an ex-Portuguese colony). Did you know that it’s thanks to this culinary hotchpotch of cultures that the world was given Nandos? I’ll let you decide whether this was a gift or a sin.
Anyway, back to the espetadas. Traditionally the beef cubes are marinated in Madeira, but you can also use sherry or port or similar. In my case, I took the opportunity to use up a near empty bottle of Marsala which I had kicking around.
This is a really simple recipe with the marinade just enhancing the natural beefiness of the steak. Great served with my favourite Portuguese bread and a dash of spicy peri-peri sauce.
Beef Espetadas (adapted from Fireworks by Jan Braai)
- 10 fresh bay leaves, shredded
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 75ml olive oil
- 75ml Madeira, sherry, port or Marsala
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1kg beef steak (I used rump) cut into large cubes
1. Mix together the bay leaves, garlic, oil, Madeira, salt and pepper and pour into a large freezer bag. Add the cubed steak and coat well in the marinade. Seal the bag and refrigerate for about 5 hours or overnight.
2. Divide the meat between the skewers and braai over hot coals for 8-10 minutes, turning a couple of times and basting with any left over marinade. Serve immediately with plenty of fresh bread and peri-peri sauce.