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Monkey Weddings & Summer Sapphires

South Africa to Nova Scotia: Stories, Recipes & Memories


The smell of boerewors cooking over hot coals, on a braai grid is embedded deep within in my senses. As the first spattering of fat hits the hot coals and the unmistakable sweet, smoky scent of coriander, cloves and nutmeg mingle, I am immediately transported back to South Africa. It wasn't however, until we moved to Nova Scotia that we started to make our own Boerewors. I had never even given an ounce of thought to the ingredients that would go into making the long coils of sausage. Boerewors is available in every supermarket around the country in South Africa and every butcher has a closely guarded secret recipe. It took us a while to find the perfect balance of spices, ratio of fat to meat and also the coarseness of the grind. We grind our own meat, because the grind is a little chunkier, but you can buy pre-ground meat or ask your butcher to do it for you. We get our casings from a local farm at the Farmers Market called Getaway, who also makes their own boerewors. If done in true South African style, it should be cooked over hot coals, but a gas grill or pan on a stovetop works too. It is delicious anytime of the day – even for breakfast.

monkey weddings and summer sapphires boerewors

Yield: 7 pounds

3 pounds beef, coarsely ground 3 pounds pork, coarsely ground 1 pound pork fat, coarsely ground

8 whole cloves

1-teaspoon coriander seeds

1 teaspoon all spice berries

1 teaspoon coarsely ground sea salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper ½ cup red wine vinegar 4 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 3 ½ ounces sausage casing

  1. In a large mixing bowl combine the beef, pork and pork fat.

  2. In a large cast iron pan, toast the coriander, allspice berries and cloves until fragrant. Remove from the heat and grind to a fine powder in a grinder or pestle or mortar.

  3. Combine the ground cloves, coriander, allspice, salt, pepper, thyme and nutmeg together with the meat. Mix the meat and spices together with your hands. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge for at least two hours.

  4. Pour in the vinegar and Worcestershire sauce and mix well.

  5. Stuff the sausage mixture into the casings, in long coils making sure to get an even sausage.

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