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South African meat recipe: Boerewors

South African meat recipe: Boerewors

This South African dish is rooted and connected to the history of the Dutch and Afrikaans settlers in the country, that is now celebrated by all the different cultures within its borders. Boerewors is one of the country’s sausages that carry such history. Made from the combination of beef and port but in some parts of South Africa, lamb or other meat is preferred. 

Boerewors was derived from both the Afrikaans and Dutch words for the farmer (Boer) and Sausage (Wors), hence the spices used in preparing the Boerewors are often influenced by the diverse cultures from both groups in the region. The South African government established a regulation in 1973 to standardise the composition of Boerewors to include 90 percent meat without the addition of mechanically recovered meat, the regulation also covers the spices that can be used.

It was recognised by the geographical indicator (GI) product from the European Union, therefore protecting the name “Boerewors” and its authenticity in the international market cementing an iconic place in South African culture.

Preparation Time

2 hours and 40 minutes.


2 pounds beef (coarsely ground)

Sausage casings 

1 pound pork (coarsely ground)

1 teaspoon ground dried rosemary

½ teaspoon ground allspice

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon ground cloves

2 tablespoons vinegar

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

¼ cup ice water

2 tablespoons coriander seeds (toasted and ground)

2 tablespoons cumin seeds (toasted and ground)

1 tablespoon black peppercorns (toasted and ground)

1 tablespoon salt 

1 teaspoon ground dried thyme



  • Soak the natural casings in water to make them flexible.
  • Toast the coriander seeds and cumin seeds in a dry pan over medium heat, and grind them with a spice grinder or use a mortar and pestle.
  • Mix the coarsely ground beef and pork with ground coriander, cumin, salt-dried thyme, dried rosemary, nutmeg and cloves in a large bowl.
  • Pour vinegar and Worcestershire sauce and water over the meat mixture and mix with your hands.
  • Pour them into a sausage stuffing nozzle or meat grinder, and twist them at regular intervals to create individual sausages. You can choose the length you desire.
  • Refrigerate the boerewors sausages for about 1 hour to be firm then you can cook on a barbecue gril, fry or even freeze it.