How to Make Boerewors

South African Food - BoereworsMaking Boerewors can be fun and is actually not that difficult, it just take a little time. This way you know exactly what is going into your sausage and the best thing is, with experience you can experiment with the basic recipe to make the perfect “boere” just for you.

The Traditional Boerewors Recipe

What equipment you need
Apart from the ingredients (see below), you are going to need a meat mincer (grinder), look for one that comes with a sausage-stuffing attachment as well. Otherwise you will also have to get a specialist sausage stuffer.

There are many available on the web (take a look at the links to Amazon below), look for the traditional cast iron meat mincers that have a metal casing as they are much better quality. Most also come with about 3 different sizes of grinding plates. To make boerewors, I use a fairly large grinding plate (quarter inch or about 6 mm). This is because you don’t want to grind the meat too finely. Mine also came with two different sized plastic sausage-stuffing attachments, again I use the larger one to stop the meat getting too squashed.

Cast Iron Meat Mincers/Grinders on Amazon:


Other than the mincer, all you need for homemade boerewors are a few large containers for holding the meat, mince and then to put the sausage into as you push it through your mincer.

Boerewors Ingredients

To make traditional South African boerewors you will need:

  • 2 kg (4.4 lb) prime Beef
  • 1 kg (2.2 lb) Pork
  • 20 g (50 ml or 10 tsp) Coriander
  • 2 ml (½ tsp) ground Cloves
  • 2 ml (½ tsp) ground Nutmeg
  • 30 g (25 ml or 5 tsp) fine Salt
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) freshly ground Black Pepper
  • 500 g (±1 lb) Bacon
  • 100 ml Vinegar
  • Casing (Pork casing is good)

As you can see this boerewors recipe uses both beef and pork. I just tend to use what looks good in the butchers and what is on deal, but have read that some people use trimmed brisket for the beef as it is cheap cut and contains quite a lot of fat, so you don’t have to add extra (Often Spek is added- see alternative boerewors recipe below). Don’t get untrimmed brisket as it is too fatty.

For the pork, just look for any fairly lean, but good quality pork that you can find.

Alternative Boerewors Recipe
I also recently found a boerewors recipe with slightly different ingredients (see below), but I haven’t tried it yet:

  • 1 kg beef.
  • 1 kg veal or lean pork.
  • 1 kg mutton.
  • 500 gr spek (firm pork fat from under the skin).
  • 25 ml salt.
  • 5 ml ground black pepper.
  • 15 ml corriander
  • 1 ml ground cloves.
  • 2 ml nutmeg powder.
  • 125 ml brown vinegar.
  • 25 ml brandy (optional).
  • 25 ml masala (optional).
  • 200 gr wide sausage casings.

Method

To make the boerewors, a good tip is to prepare the casings first and by the time you have minced and seasoned the meat, they will be ready.

To do this, you will first need to wash the salt off the sausage casings (if you have used natural salt cured ones) this is best done by just rinsing them under a tap with warm water, but never hot water. Then place them in a bowl of warm water for at least one hour, or even overnight.

Prepare the Meat
Cut the all the meat and spek (if used) into about 1inch (25mm) cubes, and just let it stand for a while to allow excess blood to drain.

Spices
At the same time place the corriander in a dry frying pan and alow to cook until it browns and then break up the seeds.

Place all the meat and dry spices in a bowl and add the vinegar (and brandy if used) and lightly mix together and then leave to marinade in a fridge for a few hours. Cold meat is also easier to mince.

Mincing
Then mince (grind) the mixture using a meat mincer. It is important not to mince it too fine – use the cutter that has ±¼ inch holes (approx 6mm) (quarter inch plate).

Testing
At this point I like to test the seasoning of your meat mixture. All I do is take a little meat, make a small patty and fry it off in the frying pan. This way, you can add a little more spices if you think that the flavour is not strong enough yet.

Filling the Casing
Now for the scary/fun bit! – First remove the cutting blade and grinding plate from the grinder and fit the sausage-stuffing attachment. Then pull one length of casing over the attachment, if it is difficult, try wetting the attachment with a little water. You can also try blowing into the casing to remove any kinks helping it to slide over easier.

To fill the casing, I have found that this is a little easier if you have someone to help you. One person can feed the ground meat into the stuffer, and the other can then turn the wheel and control the speed with which the casing comes off the attachment.

Having learnt through experience, it is important not to over-stuff the casing as it will cause it to burst on the mincer and even in the freezer or when on the braai, thus loosing a lot of the flavour.

Patience
My butcher then advised me to let the boerewors hang for a while, which I do. This just removes extra liquid that could also cause the boerewors to split in the freezer or on the braai.

Thats it, now go and light the braai and open up a beer if you haven’t already as you will soon be enjoying your very own home made traditional boerewors!

Traditional Cast Iron Mincers on Amazon

Amazon.co.uk (UK)

Amazon.com (USA)

Where to Buy Boerewors

If home-made boerewors looks like a little too much effort, you could always buy some, although as I said, you can never be sure that you are going to get the taste or quality that you expect.

Obviously if you live almost anywhere in Southern Africa getting hold of boerewors is not a problem. If however you live in other parts of the world finding it can be a little more difficult. In the UK more and more butcheries are now making it.

Buy Boerewors on Amazon!
If however you do not have access to a local butchery that makes boerewors, you can now buy it online on Amazon both here in the UK and in the US:


Boerewors for Sale On-Line

Boerewors for saleAs with pretty much everything these days you can now buy your favourite braai meat online both here in the UK and in the US:

UK Shoppers UK
Boerewors on Amazon.co.uk

US Shoppers USA

Boerewors on Amazon.com


Further Reading

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