What is Boerewors?
The name Boerewors is derived from the Afrikaans words Boer (farmer) and Wors (Sausage) and is usually abbreviated to just “Wors” in South Africa.
Boerewors is a traditional South African sausage derived from an old Dutch sausage recipe and while it is possible to make it home, it is far easier to buy a good quality wors from a South African shop (there are many shops in the USA and UK also ship wors to your home, packed in dry-ice).
Wors must contain at least 90% meat, usually beef, lean pork and spek (firm pork fat). Traditional recipes sometimes also use half beef and half mutton. The meat is ground coarsely and cured with salt, coriander, cloves, black pepper, nutmeg, allspice wine or vinegar.
Pap is a traditional South African porridge (similar to polenta but made from mielie-meal). Sous is a warm sauce made from tomatoes, onions and spices. The entire meal can be cooked on the grill/ braai (preferable) or in the kitchen.
There are also various types of Wors, my favorite being a cheddar cheese wors. Wors is also commonly served on a hoagie type bread roll and is referred to as wors roll or “boerie roll” which is often served with “Sous” on top and possibly fruit chutney, grilled onions or other toppings and condiments. Gourmet “boerie rolls” have become very popular in South Africa in recent years.
- Pap recipe:
- 750ml water
- 500g maize meal
- 15ml olive oil
- 5ml salt
- Sous (Sauce) recipe:
- 1 or 2 cans of chopped tomato
- 1 medium sized onion, chopped
- 15 ml olive oil
- 30 ml Worcester sauce
- your choice of spices or herbs – e.g. garlic, chilies, rosemary, pepper
- maizena or any thickener of you choice if needed
- Cooking the boerewors
- Boerewors / wors is best cooked over a fairly hot charcoal (or gas) grill but can also be cooked in a pan or even in the oven. Be careful not to puncture the casing if cooking on a grill as the juices will flow out quickly and leave a rather dry piece of wors. If cooking in a pan you won’t need oil or butter, just piece the skin a couple of times and the wors will cook in it’s own juices.
- Once you think the wors is approaching ready a piece can be broken off the end to ensure it is cooked through (important given the pork ingredients).
- Making Pap
- Add water, oil and salt to a pot and boil on high.
- Once the water is boiling add the maize meal to the water slowly while stirring with a wooden spoon.
- When all is combined and lump free, turn off the heat and cover pot with a lid. Allow the pap to steam in the pot. Don’t worry if a little sticks to bottom, that usually happens, just make sure it doesn’t burn. Remove from stove if it does start to burn.
- Add more/less maize/water depending on how firm you prefer the pap. If eating with hands it is preferable to have firm pap that can be picked up.
- Making Sous (Sauce)
- Fry chopped onion until tender and slightly brown.
- Add tomato and Worcester sauce and simmer.
- Add your choice of herbs and/or spices to your taste.
- If the sous looks too thin, add a little thickener like maizena.
Boerie Roll with grilled onions