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Directly-translated, Boerewors means Farmers' Sausage. Looks a bit like a rolled-up cumberland saussage, but is much thicker. It also has more flavour - traditionally the sausage is flavoured with roasted coriander seeds. Garlic, chili, cheese and other flavourants are added for further interest.

Ingredients description

Some of these ingredients can only be bought from traditional butchers. The best place to get sausage casings in London is in Smithfield Market.

  • 1,5 kg each of boneless pork and boneless beef

  • 500 g spek - typically sheep's tail fat, but any type lardon will do

  • 30 g (25ml) fine table salt

  • 20 g (50ml) whole coriander (if whole coriander isn't available use ground coriander using 5 ml of ground for 15ml whole)

  • 5ml pepper

  • 2ml cloves

  • 2ml nutmeg

  • 150ml vinegar

  • 90 g sausage casings (pork casing are the best for boerewors).

Optional flavouring ingredients

A lot of mystique surrounds the spice mixes that people use in their 'wors', with so-called 'closely-guarded family recipes' and that sort of kak. Take no notice of this, experiment and enjoy the results.

  • 25ml Disgusting cheap brandy. There is an appalling brandy in South Africa called Klipdrift a.k.a. Klippies. Very useful for degreasing your car engine and a favourite additive to boerewors.

  • 25ml Masala curry powder mix. This is another South African cullinary abomination but for real authenticity, add some of this to your wors-mix. Also use this powder to mop up oil spills after you have serviced your Volkswagen Jetta.

  • Chili powder

  • Dried garlic powder or ground garlic

  • Some fresh tomato or onion


Process the Coriander seeds

  • In a pan, scorch, grind and sift the coriander seeds. Be careful not to burn the seeds.

Process the meat

  • Soak the casings in water for at least an hour.

  • Cut the meat into 50 mm cubes

  • Mix the rest of the ingriedients except the spek (lardons) and vinegar.

  • Mince the meat and dice the spek into 3 mm cubes. If you are using a mincer plate don't use less than a 9,3mm hole or else the texture of the filling will be too firm.

  • Add spek and vinegar to the minced meat, mix lightly but thoroughly. Do not overhandle the mix by kneading the meat. A two-pronged BBQ-fork is the ideal tool for this.

  • Leave in a refrigerator for 2 hours so that the flavours can blend

  • Fry a little of your meat mix in a pan to taste, and adjust flavouring if needed

Making the Sausage

  • Fill the casing loosly. Do not over- or understuff.

  • There is no need to twist the saussage off - you should end up with a long wors (depending on your casing length) which you can cut into 1 meter lengths. Coil each long piece up and put directly on the BBQ or wrap and put into the freezer.

BBQ'ing the Sausage (a.k.a. 'braai-ing the wors' )

Take a coil of wors and put in on the BBQ (ahem: braai). Grill until just done on the inside. 8 minutes on each side on good heat should do. You will need to sample the sausage every so often as you slave over the fire. This is the cook's privilege. Do not prick the sausage with pointy things, so use tongs when turning the sausage over. Try and keep the coil intact to save space on your BBQ. Let rest a few minutes, dish and eat.


You can play with the ingredients according to your taste: For juicy boerewors use 6 parts meat to 1 part spek. Try using venison for an exotic flavour. Instead of malt vinegar, try using balsamic vinegar.