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Boerewors… what’s that!? Far from your traditional sausage, boerewors (pronounced boo-ruh-vors) originates from South Africa. The name stems from the Afrikaans words boer (“farmer”) and wors (“sausage”). Facts and history aside, boerewors is a South African braai (barbecue) favorite, and after having the pleasure of tasting it ourselves, we’re bringing the recipe home and sharing it with you.

How It’s Made – A South African Law

Believe it or not, South African law states that boerewors must contain at least 90% meat, specifically beef, lamb, and pork. Additionally, no more than 30% of the meat content may be fat. The remaining 10% is comprised of spices and other ingredients. Lastly, and most importantly, boerewors may not contain offal or any “mechanically recovered” meat pulp — that’s the law, and we love it! 

Making Boerewors From Scratch

Traditionally, boerewors sausages are made with minced beef, combined with pork and or lamb, and then flavored with 5 essential spices. These spices are coriander seed, black pepper, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg. Additional ingredients include salt and vinegar, which is a natural preservative, and sausage casing, which is used to hold and shape the boerewors. 

In South Africa, boerewors can be purchased at any grocery store. For those living abroad, well, we have to make it from scratch. Good thing we have the recipe! Here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients

  • 1.5 kg beef, minced
  • 1.5 kg pork, minced
  • 500 g pork fat, coarsely or cut into small cubes
  • 10 tsp (50ml) whole coriander seeds
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) salt
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) freshly ground black
  • ½ tsp (2.5 ml) ground cloves
  • ½ tsp (2.5 ml) grated nutmeg
  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) ground allspice
  • ½ cup (125 ml) good quality vinegar
  • ± 9 sausage casings

Method

  • Combine the minced meat and pork fat. Work gently; otherwise, the mixture will become stringy.
  • Roast the coriander in a hot, dry pan and grind it finely. Sift to get rid of the husks and let them cool.
  • Combine all the spices and mix well with the meat mixture. Add the vinegar.
  • Leave the mixture for about 1 hour before filling the casings with the meat. Another casing option is to take your mixture to your nearest butcher and have them fill it into sausage casings for you. 
  • The boerewors can be cooked straight after assembly or stored in the refrigerator or freezer for later use.

How To Cook Boerewors The South African Way

In South Africa, boerewors is traditionally cooked on the grill over medium-hot coals in its original coil shape. While grilling, you’ll want to keep turning the meat often so as not to burn or crisp one or both sides. The trick is not to overcook it, as overcooked boerewors will lack the best part, the juiciness. 

Tip –  unlike traditional sausages, do not pierce the boerewors while cooking, as this would cause them to lose moisture. 

In South Africa, boerewors is commonly served as a “boerie roll,” an alternative to the well-loved hot dog! 

KUDU Grills – South African Roots

Why is South Africa such a big part of our story? Because if it weren’t for South Africa, the KUDU Grill wouldn’t exist. We witnessed the concept of a South African braai which involved an open-fire grill being the focal point for all outdoor gatherings. We brought this concept back to America in the form of a multifunction, versatile, and portable open-fire grill — a KUDU Grill.

 

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