Spiced Bacon and Cheese Burgers from South African Grill Master, Jan Braai’s, Shisanyama
Nothing perks up a simple burger like a few spices, along with a hit of bacon and feta cheese. When South African grilling phenomenon Jan Braai tells you this is among the best bacon and cheese burgers he’s ever eaten, you can take it to the bank!
There is nothing that says summer quite like a homemade bacon cheeseburger hot off the grill! That smokey flavour, along with the decadence of cheese, beef, and bacon all in one bite is an unctuous treat that puts a smile on the face of even the pickiest eater.
This particular burger caught my attention because of its fresh approach. The bacon and cheese are mixed right into the patties, along with the onion and spices. As a result, the patties are permeated with the delicious richness of the ingredients. This innovative technique makes for a spectacular explosion of flavour as you bite into these amazing cheeseburgers.
Plus, this strategy makes more room for the lettuce, tomatoes and gherkins on top! Obviously, the entire combination makes for bacon and cheese burgers you will not soon forget. However, coming from South African grilling expert, Jan Braai, I wouldn’t expect anything less.
About the Book
Jan Braai is South Africa’s grilling champion, expert, and a true believer in the power of a hot fire to bring people together. He is also the man behind South Africa’s National Braai Day initiative.
To write Shisanyama, Jan Braai’s fourth book about grilling, he crowdsourced recipes from across the nation. Then, he whittled the hundreds of recipes he received down to 80 South African gems. In fact, for me, Shisanyama is National Braai Day in a book.
It takes the reader on a virtual road trip through South Africa’s grilling landscape. The recipes run the gamut — from T-Bone Steaks with Mustard Ice Cream, to Red Curried Black Mussels, and Chakalaka. This book reflects the way the nation eats, and Jan Braai has included thoughtful introductory notes with each and every recipe.
Whether you’re a South African aspiring to broaden your grilling horizons or a foreigner, like myself, looking to know this beautiful country better, Shisanyama is a great place to start. The recipes are authentic, delicious, and proudly South African.
About the Recipe
I chose this particular recipe because it is simple — and unique. One of the things I love about Jan Braai’s recipes is their simplicity. They don’t rely on lots of extra equipment or fussy ingredients. So, like this highly addictive recipe for bacon cheese burgers, they could easily be prepared around a campfire.
Nonetheless, using homemade mayonnaise — which is a pretty simple undertaking — will make for a superior burger. So, I strongly recommend whizzing up a batch of blender mayo if you’re at home.
In addition, when Jan Braai says grate the onions, he means it. I’ve tried the lazy way — chopping the onions — and it doesn’t work well. The onions inevitably end up too big and chunky. This ruins the texture of the patties and reduces the impact of the onion. So, please, it’s worth the extra few minutes to grate your onions folks!
Most of all, I hope your family loves this recipe as much as mine does and I genuinely encourage you to get yourself a copy of Shisanyama. It’s a treasure of a book that’s bound to up your braai game and impress your friends and family with a bit of South African flair. Bon appétit!
Photos and recipe by Jan Braai, 2017, from the book, Shisanyama. Shared courtesy of Bookstorm Publishers.
Shisanyama is a cookbook you will want to add to your collection. It is jam packed with brilliant, flavourful South African recipes for the grill that are suitable for cooks of all levels of experience. This treasure of a book is available in South Africa at Exclusive Books and takealot.com. In addition, it’s available internationally on Amazon.com.