Well, it certainly doesn’t look like braai weather here in KZN this weekend (heavy rain forecast, thank goodness, it’s very dry at the moment, as the spring rains have just not really arrived with any meaning). But it might be worth making a small fire to smoke some sausages, my new favourite way to cook sausages.
Smoked sausages are a delicious alternative to sausages cooked on the braai-grid, the result being perfect golden brown sausages with juicy centres and wonderful smoky flavour. And it is so much easier than one would think! Use a really good quality sausage (I like the Woolworths pork sausage range – these were the herbed sausages, and they were delicious).
To smoke sausages (or anything else) you’ll need a good hot fire, a large cast iron pot, a grid to fit into the base of the pot, and a pack of oak chips. If you’d like to try this, next time you’re shopping, look for a pack of oak wood chips, you’ll find wood chips for smoking food in any shop with a good braai section.
Line the pot base with some tin-foil for easy clean-up, cover the base with a layer of wood chips and add a tablespoon or two of water. Place the pot over the flames with the lid on, and heat until the chips start to smoke. Add the sausages, cover with the lid again and leave to smoke, about 15 to 20 minutes. Check them occasionally, and turn them over once. Once they are lovely and brown, remove from the pot, and serve.
Eat them with fire-baked potatoes, bread rolls baked on the grid next to the pot, or you could make a big salad platter for everyone to snack on, like this one:
While the sausages are smoking, make up the salad platter using whatever ingredients please you – on this platter, I used carrot, baby marrow and celery sticks, olives, gherkins, gouda and feta cheese cubes, sliced mushrooms, and some halved strawberries – baby tomatoes or tomato wedges and cucumber strips would also be great. Mix up a dipping sauce of equal parts mayonnaise and Greek yoghurt, with a little bit of curry powder and some salt and pepper to taste, or use your favourite flavour (guacamole, or hummous come to mind). Arrange the smoked sausages on the platter with the rest of the goodies and serve with some chilled white wine or a beer.