Monday, April 10, 2017

Boerewors- for your summer braai!

I love a challenge so when Valeriah described South Africa's national sausage, the boerewors, I was hooked.  This beautiful coil of well seasoned meat is perfect for backyard barbecues or braais, as they are called in her home country.

On the menu for the sausage making class were two very different, delicious sausages: the boerewors and the Mexican chorizo.  We made two variations of each and they were all delicious.  The boerewors are traditionally made into coils and we made a few patties (a la hamburger) as well.

Thank you to Hank Shaw whose website provided much inspiration.

This recipe makes 15 lbs of sausage - about 10 coils and many patties.

  • 8 lbs of beef, one half coarsely ground and one half finely ground 
  • 7 lbs ground pork, one half coarsely ground and one half finely ground 
  • 1/4 cup    coarse salt
  • 3 tbsp      cracked black pepper
  • 12 tbsp    whole coriander seed, toasted until fragrant, then coarsely ground
  • 3 tsp       ground clove
  • 6 tsp       ground allspice
  • 6 tsp       brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup   malt vinegar
  • 1 cup     brandy
  • Hog casings

Before you begin, make sure your stuffer, bowls, utensils are scrupulously clean - I wash everything in hot soapy water to which I have added  a little bit of bleach.  Clean your countertops with the bleached water.  Soak the casings in a bowl of warm water to remove the salt.  Rinse them.

  1. Your butcher can grind the meat for you and mix together the beef and the pork.  Mix together the salt, pepper, coriander, clove and allspice.  Add to the well chilled meat mixture and mix- I use my very clean hands to do the job. Refrigerate overnight if you can, or at least for an hour.
  2. Place your very cold meat in a large tub or bowl and add the sugar, vinegar and brandy. Mix well with your hands for 2 to 3 minutes — a good indicator of temperature is that your hands should ache with cold when you do this. You want to mix until the meat binds to itself.  Take the time to form a sample patty to cook and taste.  This is your opportunity to adjust your seasonings- a pinch more of this, an extra dash of that...  
  3. Our boerewors coming out of the stuffer.
  4. Your boerewors is now ready for stuffing into casings. You can stuff it into long coils - the traditional way- and/or make it into patties.  Most people stuff this into long coils of about 1 to 2 pounds each. I use my KitchenAid with the stuffing attachment to stuff the links well but not super-tight.  Stuff the casing until you get a coil about a foot wide, leaving lots of room on either end to tie them off.  Tie off one end of the coil then gently compress the sausage in the casing from the other end.  Remove air pockets with a large clean needle or sausage pricker. 
  5. Set your coil on a rack for an hour or so to dry. You can do this overnight in a fridge if you want. Once dried a bit, the boerewors can be refrigerated for up to a week, or frozen for up to a year.
Cook your boerewors gently on the barbecue, making sure the meat is cooked through or in a frypan on the stovetop.  Gently brown the sausage, pricking the casing to let some of the fat flow into the pan.  Once your sausage is brown, add a little water to finish the cooking.

Wanna play?
Try combining beef and lamb or pork and venison or even just one meat.  


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