11. Jul, 2017

South African Boerewors made in Monção Portugal

Today I was chatting to my dear sister in law Paula, that lives in Silveira (Torres Vedras) and she said ”I loved your posting about potjiekos. Why don’t you post something about Boerewors” and that made me think. Why don’t I try to make boerewors here in Monçao. When I was in South Africa, together with my good friend, Braam De Villiers from Vanderbijlpark I made many kgs of this lovely Boere sausage. Braam taught me many tricks on what meats and spices to use so I said to Luisa why don’t we give it a try. Off we went to our friendly butcher in Salvatierra de Miño 2km from Monçao on the other side of the Minho river in Galician territory. We purchased the amounts of meat required and passed by the spice shop and bought some spices that I did not have at home. Well before I share my recipe will you all, let me give you some history on the origins of Boerewors.

First let’s try the boerewors pronunciation. It's easy: Just say "BOO-ruh-vorse." Boerewors is an Afrikaans word that literally means "farmer's sausage." As with most South African cuisine (and the Afrikaans language), the flavors and ingredients in boerewors were influenced by centuries of colonization and immigration. It was the need for food that triggered the colonization of South Africa. The Dutch East India Company needed a refreshment station for ships travelling from Europe to the East. The Dutch landed in 1652 in the Cape, with orders to establish a farm to provide fresh vegetables and meat for the ships rounding the Cape. Holland ruled for 150 years and the Dutch cuisine had a big influence on South-African cookery. Rice, gentle spices (like cinnamon and nutmeg) and deep-frying techniques (such as for vetkoek) were important in Cape-Dutch recipes. Meat "frikadelle" is Dutch in origin.

Boerewors are made from coarsely minced beef (sometimes combined with minced pork, lamb, or both) and spices (usually toasted coriander seed, black pepper, nutmeg, cloves and allspice). Like many other forms of sausage, boerewors contains a high proportion of fat, and is preserved with salt and vinegar, and packed in sausage casings. Traditional boerewors is usually formed into a continuous spiral. It is often served with pap (traditional South African porridge / polenta made from mielie-meal). Boerewors is also very common throughout Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe as well as with expatriate South and Southern African communities in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Up until the early 1960's boerewors in South Africa was known only as boerewors and by no other name. Thousands of butchers vied with each other to produce, in their opinion, the best "boeries" you could find anywhere. Competition was fierce, the consumer was happy! The unique taste of boerewors was enhanced by making adjustments to the quantities of the traditional ingredients used. Some masterful "boeries" was, and still is, produced with the creators jealously guarding the mix of their magic potions. Boerewors is popularly prepared in all seasons and for all types of functions, occasions and activities. It looks like a sausage coil and is loosely based on an older traditional Dutch sausage called verse worst.  During national holidays and many other celebrations, braaing  boerewors is a common outdoor activity. Braai definition: to grill or roast (meat) over open coals a meal prepared on a barbecue and eaten outdoors.

There are many recipes for boerewors, but this recipe for traditional boerewors was given to me by my South African friend Braam De Villiers, but I could have not carried out this task without the support, help and full dedication of my darling Luisa. Thank you my love you are the best.💋 


  • 1,5 kg minced beef
  • 1,5 kg deboned pork
  • 500 gram pork fat (use the firm pork fat directly under the skin)
  • 50 ml (3 tablespoons/20 gram) whole coriander seed, singed and ground
  • 25 ml (5 teaspoons/30 gram) salt
  • 5 ml (1 teaspoon) ground black pepper
  • 2 ml (1/2 teaspoon) ground cloves
  • 2 ml (1/2 teaspoon) ground nutmeg
  • 15 ml (1 tablespoon) fresh thyme
  • 50 ml (3 tablespoons/20 gram) brown sugar
  • 150 ml (2/3 cup) brown vinegar
  • About 90 gram intestine for casing (preferably pork intestine)


Lightly scorch the coriander in a frying pan, over medium heat, to release its flavour. Let it cool down, grind it, and sieve to remove the husks.Cube the meat into 50 mm cubes and mix all ingredients together, except the pork fat and vinegar. Mince coarsely and place meat in large bowl.

Cube the pork fat into very small (about 3 mm) cubes.Add the pork fat and vinegar to the minced meat mixture and mix well but lightly (a two pronged fork works well).

Soak intestine or casing for at least 30 minutes in lukewarm water before using a sausage maker to filling it with the wors mixture.

Do not over- or under-fill the casings.


Use fresh, high quality meat. Frozen meat should not be used, as it will discoloured. Take care not to over-handle the minced meat: it should have a loose, rough texture and should not be too firm. Store freshly-made wors in the fridge for at least a day so that the flavours can develop. Raw boerewors can be frozen, but not for more than two months. Well ; what can I say it was a fantastic experience to be able to make the Boerewors and also then to braia them and did we enjoy!! great stuff.