Join the Democratic Republic of Braai


Words: Lauren McGregor

With the official start of summer on 24 September - just in time for the Rugby World Cup and commemorating a decade-long crusade of the National Braai Day initiative - comes a third book of indispensable braai recipes from the nation’s fire-lighting master, Jan Braai.

Photo credit: Mike Eloff

On sale now, The Democratic Republic of Braai (Bookstorm) takes readers further away from basic boerewors rolls and into a democratic world where it’s possible and encouraged to cook anything on the coals of a wooden fire.

While Jan’s first book, Fireworks, introduced readers to the basics of the braai and its follow-up Red Hot welcomed potential braai masters to a world of peri peri chicken livers and malva pudding cooked over the open flame, The Democratic Republic of Braai goes even further and insists that it’s your democratic right to gather with friends and eat incredible braai food. It is also your democratic right to never suffer the indignity of eating badly-braaied food ever again.

In The Democratic Republic of Braai Jan has harnessed his unmatched braai experience – gathered from his travels across the country and the world - and put together some of the most mouth-watering, flame-grilled recipes known to woman- and mankind.

From heritage T-bone steak with pinotage sauce (fitting for the National Braai Day initiative that calls on all South Africans to unite around a fire on Heritage Day) to lamb shank port potjie, all your favourite meat dishes are given a Jan Braai makeover with a uniquely South African twist.

Chicken dishes include a vindaloo potjie and the call-to-wings revolution chicken, while a World Cup winning bread pudding potjie is a must for any patriotic rugby fans. To show that anything can be cooked over a braai, Jan also provides a recipe for braai tea (similar to chai tea but with a braai flavour) and breakfast braai muesli, freshly roasted in a potjie on flames.

With over 60 000 Jan Braai books sold around the world and now into his 10th year as the driving force behind the National Braai Day initiative, Jan has become the global authority on all things South African braai.

He’s the presiding president of the DRB and man who wants nothing more than for the people of the Democratic Republic of Braai to eat the best braai meals in the land.

The Democratic Republic of Braai is also available in Afrikaans (Die Demokratiese Republiek van Braai - Human & Rousseau).

From 12 to 19 September Jan will undertake his annual National Braai Tour, which sees 240 ardent braaiers from around the country join him on a weeklong roadshow to various heritage sights within South Africa to learn more about this great nation – and to braai as much as possible. In each region the tour passes through, there is a rally of support for the ideals of the National Braai Day initiative: unite around a fire, share our heritage and wave our flag.

Participants of the National Braai Tour will be tasked to visit important historical sites and to recreate the recipes of the Democratic Republic of Braai at all braai stops. Every participant on the tour carries a full sized South African flag, waving the rainbow colours while traversing the Rainbow Nation.

Highlights of the National Braai Tour include visits to Augrabies Falls National Park, a stopover in Springbok at the height of spring flower season and a final day celebration of West Coast Heritage in Tietiesbaai.

About the author
Who is Jan Braai? His real name is Jan Scannell and he lives to braai. For the past 10 years he has spearheaded the National Braai Day initiative. His aim is to create a national celebration of the one activity all South Africans have in common regardless of race, language, gender or wealth – cooking over a fire. He formerly held the world record for the longest lasting braai. His popular TV series ‘Jan Braai for Erfenis’ has run each year on kykNET since 2011.

For more about Jan Braai visit: or follow him on Twitter (@janbraai), Facebook ( or Instagram (@janbraai).