Monkey Gland Barbecue Steak

Ever heard of monkey gland barbecue steak?

I know the name is a bit scary, but this great one-pan barbecue steak recipe has nothing to do with monkeys - fortunately, they're safe for now.

I first came across this dish on a safari trip to South Africa a few years ago; it was served up to us one evening in the bush, and I was immediately captivated - so much so that I now consider this traditional South African beef steak recipe as one of my favorite grill recipes for steak.

This is a really simple and easy outdoors and camping steak recipe, which is great when prepared as described. The sauce makes a really great barbecue sauce as well, and as a variation, prepare the sauce separately and grill the steak over a regular barbecue. When done to perfection, just spoon the sauce over.

Ready to start? Right, go out and catch yourself a monkey (just kidding. . . .)

Ready to try some traditional South African monkey gland barbecue steak?

Serves 4


For the steak:

  • 2 pounds boneless sirloin, sliced into 4 steaks 
  • 2 tablespoons good quality mustard
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground pepper

For the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive or other vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 pound button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chutney or chili sauce
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 1 cup chicken stock


  1. Rub the mustard and coarse black pepper, and brown the steaks on both sides in olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Remove and keep warm.
  3. Add the onion and garlic to the same skillet, adding a little more olive oil if required. Cook until onion is translucent. Add broth and vinegar and bring to the boil, scraping up any brown bits. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes. 
  4. Return steaks to pan. Cover and cook for 8-10 minutes or until meat reaches desired doneness (for medium rare, meat temp should be 145, for well done 170).

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