Well, that is a LOADED title. But really this is easy, fast and no fuss and it is fabulous. You need to make it. End of.
Piri Piri is a superb sauce. It is easy to make and all you do with it is marinade the protein of your choice before cooking it. Over fire if you like, but also in the oven or fry it in the pan.
Piri Piri Sauce
Piri Piri is now ubiquitous in the UK with Nando’s, a South African restaurant chain, but its origins are in early colonisation. The Portuguese brought chilli seeds back from South America and brought them colonies in Africa and in Goa. They were introduced to the cuisine and Piri Piri was born in Mozambique and Angola and the Portuguese loved the dish and brought it back home. We all love it now.
This recipe is based on one that I was given by South African chef Bertus Basson with a few tweaks. It benefits from a nights rest in the fridge although this is not essential. Marinade in advance if you can, again this is not essential. I made it last night on a whim and was eating my Piri Piri Pork Chops (so could!) an hour later.
Enjoy! And I would recommend doubling up. It will keep in the fridge for at least 5 days, with vinegar and sugar in it likely longer but I haven’t checked (yet!). I always use it up and suspect you will too.
How to use Piri Piri
Uses? Piri Piri Chicken of course! It was divine on pork chops last night. It would be wonderful with prawns and most seafoods (white fish like hake or pollock will love it, as would squid). I also mixed it through some homecooked beans for an instant Piri Piri take on baked beans. It is simple: slather your meat in the marinade and leave it for as long as you can up to a day or overnight. Before you marinade any of your meats, and I know this sounds violent, stab the meat all over with a sharp knife. This will allow the marinade to penetrate nicely.
Adapting this recipe to suit your pantry
Substitute any vinegar you want except balsamic. You can use lemon in place of vinegar. No brown sugar? White sugar is fine, so is honey or maple syrup. No Spanish paprika? Any paprika is fine. No dried chillies? Use fresh! Use chilli flakes, adapt heat to taste. This is super flexible, just taste it and adjust accordingly and I promise you will be delighted with yourself.
- 5 dried chillies (this makes it nice and hot, so adjust accordingly)
- 60g sweet smoked Spanish paprika (dulce)
- 2 red peppers, stems and seeds removed
- 1 tomato, core removed
- 1/2 a red onion
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 100ml white wine vinegar
- 50g brown sugar
- 10g sea salt
- the juice of half a lemon (save the other half for squeezing over the piri piri marinaded meat after you have cooked it)