Boerewors, boerie, wors, or braai wors are the names given to one of the most iconic sausages in South African history. This South African food has been on the top of the favourite list for many years. Rewind to the days on the plaas when Ouma would whip up a batch of boerewors using her secret boerewors recipe. Hence, the name combines two Dutch words, ‘boere’ and ‘wors,’ meaning ‘farmers sausage.’ Should you mention the name boerewors in the vicinity of any South African at home or abroad, the immediate response will be, ‘do you know where can we get some?’ as they hurriedly light the braai!
Sausages vs. boerewors
Aside from being the perfect fresh sausage for the grill, it also looks a little different from other sausages of the world. While most sausages come in convenient and orderly portions, i.e., six pork sausages or one large wurst, thank you, England and Germany, boerewors is made into one long sausage. Once cooked, is cut into rough portions depending on how hungry you are feeling or how long your bread roll might be! In addition, you won’t find any meat pulp or mechanically recovered meat in boerewors. Made from 90% meat and 10% other ingredients and spices, the boerewors sausage is the meatiest sausage around.
The mystery unveiled
If you have wondered about what goes into this truly magnificent sausage, wonder no further. This tasty wors is packed with the following scrumptious ingredients.
- Coarsely ground (minced) beef, lamb, and pork
- Spices (Coriander, black pepper, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice)
- Fat (spek)
- Salt and Vinegar (for preserving)
While boerewors is traditionally made with high-quality beef, other meat types such as kudu or springbok can also be used. This is called venison boerewors and is often found on the menus of game parks and guest houses.
How to make your own boerewors
For most South Africans, boerewors is easy to find, especially when living under the hot African sun. Simply walk into your local butchery or supermarket, and the many varieties of boerewors are a debit card payment away. However, for saffas abroad, boerewors can be like finding the pot of gold at the rainbow’s end, near impossible without a leprechaun! That said, perhaps your inner boerewors god or diva is dying to create new variations of this gorgeous sausage? If so, you will need the basic South African recipe to get started. What ever your reason for making your own boerewors, it’s bound to be worth the effort with every delicious mouthful. So, let’s jump into a truly South African recipe for boerewors done the boere way!
What you need
- 1 kg minced beef
- 1 kg minced pork
- 1 kg minced lamb
- 6 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 g crushed salt
- Ground black pepper for seasoning
- ½ cup coriander seeds toasted
- 1 g mustard seeds
- 1 g thyme
- 5 meters sausage casings
- Sausage funnel
What to do
Mixing and marinading
- Mix the beef, lamb, and pork mince in a large bowl.
- Add the spices and the vinegar to the mince and mix well, ensuring the spices are evenly distributed. Then cover the bowl with clingfilm.
- Allow the mince to marinate overnight in the fridge. This allows the meat to absorb the flavour of all the spices.
Filling the sausage casings
- Rinse the sausage casings with warm water, allowing water to run through each of the casings. This will clean them and make them easier to roll onto the sausage funnel.
- Slip the end of one casing onto the funnel and slide the casing onto it. This is much like putting on a sock. Next, leave a small piece of casing hanging over the end of the funnel; this is where you will tie a knot.
- Place the sausage funnel onto the end of the mincer, ensure it is tightly screwed on.
- Next, place the meat into the top of the mincer and start turning the handle.
- As the mince comes through the funnel, use your hand to gently ease the casing off the funnel at the same speed. The meat should fill the sausage casing. If the sausage casing bursts, simply stop turning the handle, tie a knot in the casing and start again.
- Once all the mince has been stuffed into the casings, place the sausage lengths into the fridge overnight. This allows the casings to dry and improves the flavour of the wors.
Once your boerewors is made, the next step is to get it onto the braai, and you don’t need instructions on how to do that! Besides, you probably had the fire lit hours ago! Although this basic recipe is a great place to start when learning to make boerie, why not try adding cheese, extra garlic, chili, or a dash of curry to spice up your tasty boerewors braai?
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