Herman Lensing readily admits that his rugby knowledge is sparse, and that a braai fire sometimes frightens him. Yet he knows that rugby and braai are an indispensable feature of the South African DNA.
“This is the first time that I have taken on a project that is so far removed from who I am. I may not know much about rugby, but I know that there is something magic happens around a fire, especially when you barbecue,” Herman told RNews.
That is why this well-known TV chef and food writer decided to combine the DNA of South Africa, barbecue and rugby, and publish a recipe magazine in the run-up to the long-awaited Rugby World Cup.
In this book, readers can find everything a braai recipe is. This includes fish, chicken, beef, pork and side dishes.
“And of course beautifully set tables. It is now typical Herman style – a set table for every dish. You may be able to grill, but at least the table has to look nice!”
Herman, a trained chef, says that he actually got rid of the chef title before his name a long time ago – it’s simply not how he sees himself anymore. Chefs work long hours, and he has the world’s respect for them – these days his food presence is not linked to that title.
Herman, the co-presenter of the talk show, Minkiis also a well-known food journalist and author, although these titles were not actually in his sights.
“I grew up in a typical African household where food was central. Everything starts with food – whether you’re having a wedding or a funeral.”
Already at the age of 22 in 2009, he became the food editor of Saree became, with numerous recipe books that have since appeared from his pen. Apron, Another apron, The taste like home and Home food grace behind his author name.
He has also tested the waters of television series several times. In 2022 he was part of MasterChef South Africa ‘s production team, and this year serves in that same role for kykNET’s Kokkedoor Fire & Flame. In a new chat series on VIA, Herman and the ladieshe hangs out with 10 vivacious breast cancer survivors in the Pink Lady-kitchen. In this series, which kicks off on 6 September, he talks to each woman about their path to victory, the sweet and the sour of life.
“Food is who I am. I like to make people feel good; food forms part of my love language. When I share my recipes, I hope to empower people in the kitchen. Many people are afraid of the kitchen; with my recipes I hope to extinguish this fear.”
This is how you make Herman Lensing’s Moroccan lamb stew with dumplings
“In my childhood, we spent a lot of time in Namibia during our winter holidays,” says Herman.
“Potjie food with dumplings was often enjoyed around the campfire at Ais-Ais. I dust off this recipe and give it a Herman twist.”
Enough for 12.
- wood or coals for barbecue
- 60 ml olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1.2 kg short lamb shanks
- 500 g baby onions, peeled
- 45 ml harissa spread
- 30 ml dry rosemary
- 2 cans (2 x 400 g) cherry tomatoes
- 500 ml red wine
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 115 g (125 ml) butter
- 500 g (890 ml) cake flour
- 10 ml baking powder
- 5 ml of salt
- 1 can (410 g) tinned popcorn, drained
- 250 ml of cold water
- Get coals moderately hot, but just make a big fire so you can add coals as you go. Heat olive oil in a three-legged cast iron pot – this recipe is suitable for a no. 3 or no. 4 pot.
- Add garlic and shanks. Fry quickly until golden brown, about 5-8 minutes.
- Add onions and harissa spread. Fry 5 minutes. Add rosemary and fry for 2 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and wine. Put the lid on and let it simmer slowly for about 90 minutes. Add water if liquid starts to boil away.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, rub butter, flour, baking powder and salt with your fingertips until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
- Add corn and mix. Add enough water to form a stiff dough.
- Remove lid from pot and scoop spoonfuls of dough on top of stew.
- Put the lid back on and let steam for about 30 minutes or until dumplings are cooked. Sit down.
Get your Herman Lensing’s Barbecue and Rugbycookbook magazine here.