Braai Broodjies

By meganvt01
May 14, 2011
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Author Notes: My husband and I recently visited South Africa for the first time and experienced several braais. We call it grilling or barbecues here, but South Africans don't appreciate the comparison. The braai is all about slow food and socialization, standing around a very low and slow wood fire. A mix of chicken, a special sausage, anything can be cooked over a braai. However, the surprise star of every braai is the broodjies. Broodjies is pronounced sort of like "broykies" and is would be a great light main course...and very cheap! It seems like a simple recipe but the melding of all the flavors over the wood smoke makes this a very special dish.

Although purists would say this needs to be made over a wood fire, I've done it using a gas grill and it is still just as delicious. - meganvt01

Food52 Review: It’s tough to objectively describe a personal comfort food, especially one associated with the best memories of one’s life. Meganvto1 appears to have really nailed the recipe down to a T. The sharp cheddar cheese melts down to barely "cook" the onion, leaving it crisp and crunchy, yet sweet and devoid of any trace of rawness. The thinly sliced heirloom tomatoes (I used a combination of red and yellow ones), almost seem to vaporize, leaving behind the signature stamp of their fresh aroma. The key factor in generating the flavor and texture is to grill this sandwich over low heat. I used a mesh splatter guard over my grill pan to avoid direct contact with high heat with great results! - PanfusinePanfusine

Makes: 1 sandwich
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 10 min

  • 2 slices very good quality white bread
  • 4 very thin slices sharp cheddar cheese
  • paper thin sliced sweet onion
  • 3 very thin slices of heirloom tomato
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  1. Spread butter on both slices of bread.
  2. With one slice of bread laying buttered side up, layer on cheese, onions, and tomato. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with other slice of bread, buttered side in.
  3. Place the completed broodjies into a flat mesh grill basket - like one used for whole fish. Over a very low braai (grill) slowly toast the sandwiches. The idea is to melt the cheese through and allow the onion flavor to mellow a bit while toasting the outside to a golden brown. This should take about 15 minutes, turning the grill basket about every 3 minutes so the bread doesn't overly brown. You'll have to tap the completed sandwich out of the grill basket. Enjoy!

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