Easter has always been a special family time for us which means following a tradition of having a braai – as a child I have wonderful memories of the whole family gathering on Karna and all being involved in making boerewors. This spicy sausage alongside sosaties and steak was usually on the braai for lunch. One of my favorite braai recipes which has been passed down from my grandparents, is a kebab known as a Sosatie which is a traditional dish to South Africa of Malay origin.
I got to spend special time with my parents, who have retired to the Karoo Village of De Rust, nestled at the foothills of the Swartberg Mountains.
Zimbabwe Independence day falls on the 18th of April , for me it is a time of reflection on what happened to all the farming families in Zimbabwe, and all the wonderful staff who worked with us on the farms, who overnight lost everything. On the 18th April 2000, like every other Zimbabwean we shared the holiday celebrating the Independence of our country, not knowing how drastically our lives were about to change the following morning . Martin Olds, a well known a respected Matabeleland Farmer in Zimbabwe would radio into CFU ( commercial farmers union ) to say he had been shot.
A time of panic and fear one cannot explain, there was no one you could call on to help? My heart reaches out to the Old’s family and all the other families who lost their loved ones. Most of the farmers lost their homes, their livelihood and had to find a way to start their lives again with no compensation. The loss of Karna was devastating for all us, it took me years to get over loosing our newly built home and a place with so many wonderful memories of my childhood. I still find it painful to look through photos from this time in our life.
This year as usual we celebrated Easter with a traditional South African family braai with boerewors and sosaties bought from the local butchery in the Karoo and toasted our family and friends, who are now scattered all over the world. I would like to share my Ouma Joey’s Sosatie Recipe which has been passed down through the family.
- Leg of lamb – deboned and cut into kebab size chunks ( approx 1.5kg)
- 100 g if mutton fat – traditional but also optional – if you don’t like fatty meat
- 3 tablespoons of Apricot Jam
- 3 Tablespoons of brown vinegar or tamarind juice
- 3 onions sliced in wedges (2.5cm)
- 2 red peppers sliced in wedges ( 2.5 cm)
- 75ml olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic ( extra clove to chop into olive oil for basting 3+1
- 130g dried apricots – soak until plump
- 2 tbsp mild curry powder
- 1 tsp allspice – optional
- 1 tsp coriander seeds – optional
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 crushed bay leaf
- pinch of salt
- half a teaspoon pepper
- 2 tbsp butter
- juice of 2 lemons
Heat a pan and lightly fry onions and red peppers until soft – they must be intact to threat onto skewers
Combine Apricot jam , vinegar, sugar, bay leaf, garlic ,salt, pepper, turmeric, allspice, coriander seeds , curry powder, and juice of 2 lemons and mix. Marinate meat and fat overnight.
Thread the meat, fat, apricots, onion and red peppers on the skewers.
Braai over low coals until cooked or grill in the oven. Baste with butter/olive oil with garlic while cooking and about 5 minutes before taking off the braai – use marinade for basting.