Soutribbetjie – the salted and wind-dried breast of mutton or lamb which is generally parboiled and grilled over coals.

Salting was an important method of preserving meat in days gone by, and when people were trekking from place to place, soutribbetjie had the advantage of being easily prepared and cooked quickly over an open fire. Nowadays it is popular amongst campers when cooling facilities are in short supply.

To make soutribbetjie, the meat is salted in one piece with a dry brine (a mixture of coarse salt, saltpetre and sugar), flavoured with ground coriander and black pepper. The meat should be left in the brine in a cool place for 3–5 days, depending on the thickness.

Hang the brined meat in a draught and leave for a few days to dry on the outside. Now wrap the wind-dried meat in mutton cloth or a large flour bag and store in a cool place.

Parboil the salted meat in plenty of fresh water until almost tender, then hang up again to dry. At this stage it is ready for grilling but wrapped in muslin or a flour bag, it should keep for a number of days.

Grill soutribbetjie slowly otherwise it will toughen and dry out. The meat will be pink inside due to the saltpetre used in the brine. If the meat is very dry and salty, soak overnight in fresh cold water before grilling it.

Category: South African Cuisine

Subcategory: Traditional