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South African Cuisine

The Braai Adventure

Celebrating South African Cuisine

The South African culinary scene, like the country itself, is a fusion of many cultural influences. The Big Green Egg is rapidly becoming the preferred grill for South African braai cuisine, due to the amazing versatility and performance of this modern cooking marvel.

Leg of Warthog
Recipe courtesy Tom Hancock, Big Green Egg South Africa

In South Africa, we are fortunate to have good access to warthog, which always tastes better in the “bushveld.” There is nothing quite as special as sitting around a camp fire, listening to the night sounds of hyena and lion, while waiting for your EGG to cook the perfect leg of roast warthog.

The recipe below is one that my family has used since my early childhood while spending time at our family camp in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, adjoining the Kruger National Park. We braai on a Large EGG on our farm; the EGG has taken this traditional family recipe to a new level. If not cooked property, warthog can be dry. This Dutch Oven method is designed to keep the moisture in by slow-cooking the hog.

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Ingredients:
1 Leg of warthog (if warthog is unavailable, substitute pork loin or wild boar)
1 lb. (450 g) streaky bacon

Marinade:
2 tsp (10 ml) mixture of garlic and herb seasonings
1 tsp (5 ml) ground cloves
1 cup (250 ml) vegetable stock powder
2 tsp (10 ml) ground ginger
Healthy splash of white wine
1 cup (250 ml) apricot jam
Zest of 1 naartjie (or tangerine)
½ cup (125 ml) olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste
4 cups (1 liter) water
1 lemon
1 large carrot, chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
4 whole chili peppers

Method

Roll the bacon in the garlic and herb seasonings. Lard the warthog leg first with a piece of naartjie peel and then with the seasoned bacon. Keep bacon in place with toothpicks.

Mix the remainder of the dry ingredients and wet ingredients together to make the marinade. Experiment and add whatever you like from the cupboard. The marinade needs to be sweet and sticky. In South Africa, this is called “sommer gooi” cooking (“just throw”).

Place the leg in a Dutch Oven, add marinade and cover. Marinate for 24 hours in the refrigerator.

Set the EGG for indirect cooking at 300°F/145°C.

Add extra water, carrots, quartered lemon, celery and chili peppers to the Dutch Oven.

Cover and cook slowly for about 4 hours. Baste the leg from time to time and check to make sure leg is still sitting in at least 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) of liquid.

Remove leg from Dutch Oven, place on the cooking grid and cook for another hour, basting regularly. When done, the meat should be easily coming off the bone and should fall apart.

Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

While the meat is resting, use the leftover juices in the Dutch Oven to make gravy. The gravy should be sweet with a slight chili bite. Add extra apricot jam and chilis if necessary.

Serve with chili steamed cabbage and garlic mashed potatoes.