Read through a few old topics and was quite amazed... that I can actually sit and read crap between you guys for so long... anyway
In reference to the great Greyn00b Hammy:
Oh And We Do Do that with Goat, the Best And Traditional Jordanian Meal Is Called "Mansaf" Google that s***
Heart Attack In A Meal.
I got into food and tried to research what he mentioned "Mansaf" It looks really interesting, but sadly all my info turned up recipes written in Arabic... and since I am fluent in Arabic (I would love to be, but sadly... sarcasm) I could understand every word thereof...
Anyway, here is a forum (I hope it has not been done, but if so, Mods you know where the delete button is) where you can share your countries best dishes, finest cuisine and most popular foods.
Starting off will obviously be me, since I'm in South Africa, let me tell you, in 2010 there was a vote to ask what hotels and luxury resorts should prepare for visitors who are coming to watch the Fifa 2010 soccer World cup. The vote came to the conclusion that the most 'South African' meal is a dish called 'Boboti' ...... well, I am going to say it straight... that is complete and utter Bull-feces. Boboti (As I understand it) is an Indian meal, a type of mince-curry mix. There is a reason that such a traditional Indian dish be voted as South Africa's most traditional meal. the reason is that Durban (one of our cities) has the largest population of Indian people... outside of India. Now, Honestly I am not racist, I do not discredit the mighty Boboti, BUT As a proud South African myself, if you ask any true Afrikaans speaking South African... their answer will indefinitely be "Braaivleis" and if they do not answer that exact word, without hesitation, you have my permission to kill them... on the spot, or call me to do it for you.
Braaivleis is really a traditional part of family life down here in SA.
Most families here have one day in the week at least in which they have a 'Braai day.' The term 'Braai' is an afrikaans word actually referring to a fireplace designed for the purpose of preparing your food in this manner.
The braai in my home:
Now getting all the ingredients is a task alone (As with all meals) but the most important part is... of course... the 'vleis' (Afrikaans for 'meat') without that it will be kinda pointless to call it braaivleis to be honest.
The choice in meat is the preference from person to person. (Apparently) The most difficult items to braai are chicken, pork, steak, fish and anything you marinade (White meat (Chicken, pork & Fish) must be done at a lower heat than red meat due to the tendancy to go very dry, very quickly if you don't know what you're doing, Steak needs a real expert to tell, not only when it's done, but if it will have the right taste and tender juicyness to call it 'done', any marinated item (pre marinated or marinating on the braai itself requires a fine touch, leave it too long on a side and you'll burn the marinade, too little and you'll undercook the meat.) I learned to braai with lamb pork and chicken... many mistakes later and I'm still not the best and never will be, but I try.
There is a very nice item that we incorporate into all braais... or try to anyway, it's called 'Boerewors' 'Boere' referring to 'farmers' and 'wors' referring to 'sausage' it is a type of sausage made by adding mince, fat, spice all into a pig or lamb intestine 'wall' it is quite sensitive to heat, going to the 'white meat' scale of the heat index, but staying on the 'red meat' side for ease and result. due to the intestine 'wall' all the juices are kept inside the sausage and therefore you're only really at risk of drying it out if the wall were to burst or puncture.
Getting to the preperation and side-dishes
Preperation, this requires a tad bit of wood (natural, preferably fresh wood that was air dried for a few years. A few months can also work, although you'll have difficulty to get the fire going). You place the wood (You need to know from knowledge when enough is 'enough' in this sense, I can't tell example: '3 large pieces' and it turns out to need to be 4) in a formation that will allow maximum air flow from bottom to top of the fire to help it breathe, again, too much will cause it to die due to crosswinds (If you're braaiing outside) and let it burn out until you have a nice pile of red and black coals, if they are grey... it's ash and they won't keep their heat for too long depending on the type of wood you use (best wood to use is a dense hardwood. It will keep its heat more efficiently than others) then comes the 'test' this is the amount of time your hand can spend at the level you're going to place the meat before it burns. Generally I live by the 3/5rule 3seconds for lamb or red meat and 5 seconds for White meat (Fish, depending on the thickness, can go to about 7 seconds seeing as drying out fish is almost instant) Steak on the other hand needs to be done on extremely high heat, i.e there must still be red flames visible on the coals and you should barely be able to keep your hand on braai-level for 2 seconds.
At that moment you must put up all the meat you need to do then (Placing it over your grill nice and tightly above the center of the heatsource with the thinner and more 'heat sensitive items' at the outskirts of the cluster) and continually monitor them and turn them every so often to avoid burning the outsides, the key in braaivleis is to 'cook' the meat on the inside as well as on the outside, no one likes to bite into chicken that seems nice and on the inside you're greeted by blood and fluids. so to check if the meat is ready, you need one of 2 things...
1) Experience, I know quite a few people that can just glance at meat and tell you "Undercooked" "overdone" "Perfect" just by the outside look thereof.
2) A knife which you use to cut open the meat and inspect if it is in fact cooked all the way through.
Many people say that they prefer gas braais and charcoal fires.... I will kick you in your shin if you tell that to me, I have had braaivleis from every type of contraption imaginable and the wood actually very VERY slightly flavours the meat while cooking (The smoke) gas and charcoal do not have those properties.
You can also braai sammiches and I must say: Tomato, Cheese, onion, chutney and aromat (yellow salt) make the best combo you can find for braaibrooidjies or braai sammiches and honestly I feel offended if you braai meat, but neglect to make braai sammiches.
On completion of the meat and while doing the sammiches (very low heat, you want to melt the cheese and get it all gooey for the meal) you then prepare the table with all (or some, honestly it is your choice) of the following:
Previously prepared dishes (I'll post their recipes and ingredients if you want, this is focussing more on the meaty aspect and the final outcome of the dish)
Potato salad (Works as well as anything)
Any type of fresh salad (lettuce, tomato, hard boiled eggs, onion, etc)
(Honestly the list is endless, but these are the more common side dishes)
Dish up and enjoy.