South African Sausage (Boerewors)

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Boerewors is one of the best sausages, especially when having an outdoor event. This dish will make any South African Homesick instantly. No matter where they settle in the world, South Africans will find a fellow countryman who can make it or they will learn to make it themselves – that’s how much they miss their traditional sausage!
It is very satisfying and can be taken in picnics, outdoor parties, or relaxation centers.

What is Boerewors?

When translated from Afrikaans, a language derived from the Dutch settlers, it means farmer’s sausage. It has a rather crumbly texture and was made in the past by individual farmers and hunters.

It is most often cooked outdoors at a ‘braai’, and that means it’s not a quick switch-on-the-gas type of barbeque where you cook, eat and leave.

It’s a whole afternoon or evening event of constructing the perfect wood or charcoal fire which must be at just the right heat.

It may take some time to get to the correct temperature and will involve drinking copious amounts of beer and brandy, with the conversation getting louder and louder, and the stories taller.

Finally, the braai master and his assistants will announce that the fire is ready, meaning whoever is doing the side dishes better have their act together because the meat won’t take more than half an hour.

Who Invented Boerewors?

The Netherlands! It was invented about 200 years ago in the Netherlands. It is made from coarsely minced beef (sometimes combined with minced pork, lamb or both) and spices (coriander seed, black pepper, nutmeg and cloves).

What Meat is Boerewors?

Beef! Traditionally, it is made of minced meat in a sausage casing. The meat commonly used is beef but could also be goat, pork or lamb or a mixture of the four. Legally, it must contain 90% meat content and less than 30% fat content.

What Does Boerewors Taste Like?

Usually beef, it is known by its iconic spiral shape and the distinctive taste of coriander seeds, nutmeg and cloves.

Sausage Vs Boerewors

The main difference between boerewors and sausage is the percentage of meat in the product. It is generally more expensive because it contains a higher percentage of meat. However, sausage can be just as delicious and it often offers better value for money.

Boerewors Rolls

A boerewors roll is similar to a hot dog, however it is made with traditional farm style sausage rather than a wiener. These rolls are terrific appetizers and finish as quickly as cocktail hot dogs.

Spicing Boerewors

The spices used in a traditional boerewors recipe will include coriander, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg among others. Now it depends how much of a purist you are – some people believe that spices should be freshly ground for the best flavor so they will buy whole cloves to grind, whole nutmeg to grate, and dry roast their coriander seeds before crushing them.

The easiest option is to buy a ready-mixed boerewors spice pack, and just add it to the meat. The pack comes with a handy guide to tell you how much spice to add per pound of meat.

Boerewors Recipe

When you cook boerewors on the braai (barbeque), you do not cut it into individual sausages as you do with pork sausages – it is cooked whole in a coil and only after cooking is it then cut into suitable lengths.

The casing should not be damaged during cooking otherwise the juices will leak out and it will be dry. Often they are placed inside a grilling basket to make turning the whole coil easier on the braai.

Use a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet and allow your boerewors to cook on a low heat. Low heat will let it cook evenly while browning each side. Around 10 minutes per side should be enough for a total of 20 minutes.

Tips to Make the Best Boerewors

  • The meat for boerewors should not be frozen – fresh is best.
  • The pork fat is necessary – a certain amount of fat is good as it makes the product tastier and juicier.
  • Chunks of cheese may sometimes be added – to make kaaswors. This is absolutely delicious served warm with the cheese melting into the meat.

Check out 6 Amazing South African Dishes You Shouldn’t Miss Out On


Boerewors (South African Sausage)

Robust and flavorful South African Boerewors is the sausage you need for your next grilling party!
For best flavor, the sausages should rest at least overnight in the refrigerator before being cooked.
Prep Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 38 minutes



  • 2 lb beef roast, (top round roast or brisket), trimmed of sinew
  • 1 lb fatty pork shoulder/butt, or pork neck or belly
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • ½ tbsp ground allspice
  • ½ tbsp ground black pepper
  • ¼ tbsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tbsp ground cloves
  • ¼ malt vinegarhog casing for fresh sausage



    Preparing the Meat

    • Cube the beef and pork into pieces that will fit easily into your meat grinder. Sprinkle the spices over meat and mix to coat. Cover the seasoned meat and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
    • After the meat has rested, follow the instructions that came with your meat grinder to grind the seasoned meat using the coarse grinding blade.
    • Add the vinegar to the ground meat and mix well.

    Stuffing the Sausage

    • Thoroughly rinse (inside and out) one salted hog casing. Prepare the casing for stuffing as directed on the casing package.
    • If using a Kitchen Aid, or similar, mixer, attach the thick sausage stuffer attachment to the meat grinder attachment.
    • Place the entire casing onto the sausage stuffer attachment, leaving 4 inches hanging off the end. Tie a knot in this end of the casing to keep your sausage mixture from oozing out. Begin to stuff your casing as directed for your machine, moving slowly and being careful not to over-stuff the casing. (Don’t worry too much about unevenly stuffed sausage, we will take care of that later.)
    • As you stuff the casing, coil the sausage onto a large plate. Stop stuffing when you only have 5-6 inches of casing left. Remove the casing from the sausage stuffer attachment.
    • Before you knot the end, check the sausage for uneven areas. If you find any, gently even out the sausage mixture in the casing with your hands.
    • Once the sausage is even to your liking, knot the end of the casing.
    • If you still have additional sausage mixture (for us, this recipe made two 1.5 lb sausages), rinse and prepare another casing and stuff it as before.
    • Once all your sausage mixture has been stuffed, refrigerate your sausages overnight (at least 12 hours) so that the flavors can come together before cooking.

    Cooking the Sausage

    • The traditional way to cook boerewors is on the grill. Heat your grill to a medium-high heat (400F). (You should be able to hold your hand a few inches from the cooking grate for 4-5 seconds.) If desired, soak a large wooden skewer or two in water. Place the skewers through the sides of the sausage coil to make it easier to turn the sausage when it’s on the grill. If you like a little grilling adventure, cook the sausage coil loose.
    • Place the boerewors onto the grill and cook for 4-5 minutes on the first side, until the color has changed and the sausage has nice grill marks. Flip the boerewors and cook for 3-4 minutes on the second side, until the sausage is firm.
    • Remove the sausage from the grill and place on a large platter to serve.

    Notes: If you don’t have a meat grinder, ask your butcher if he or she can grind your beef and pork for you. (Be sure to ask for a coarse grind.) Mix your butcher-ground meat with the spices, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour. Then, continue with the recipe as directed.

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