Boerewors (Boo-ruh-vors) comes from the Afrikaans words boere (farmers) and wors (sausage), it is wholesome, delicious and reasonably inexpensive.
Boeries as it is affectionately known by locals, is staple fare in South Africa and is as traditionally South African as biltong, koeksisters, mealiepap, and vetkoek — The aroma of a boerewors braai is enough to set all the neighbours watering at the mouth.
Boerewors is another inheritance from our pioneering forefathers who used to combine minced meat and cubed spek with spices and preservatives which were freely available from the then Cape Colony.
During the “Groot Trek” large quantities of wors would be made during their outspan and that which could not be eaten would be hung to make droëwors which was taken along for sustenance as they continued their explorations.
During the 1960’s, the advent of inferior quality boerewors that was sold at bargain prices to the poor but contained inferior ingredients reared it’s ugly head. Although the traditional spices were still used, inferior meat such as offal, bone meal and soya became the main ingredients. To contain this mixture the thickest possible sausage casings were used in order to avoid the wors from rupturing during cooking.
Public outcry soon curtailed the production of this boerewors as the perception that “cheap wors is bad wors” soon resulted in this product not moving from the retail shelves — unfortunately, to this very day, some butchers will tempt the bargain hunter with inferior wors.
In South Africa boerewors is generally cooked outside on a braai. It can also be eaten on a roll which is known as a boerewors roll. The aroma of a boerewors braai is enough to set all the neighbours watering at the mouth.
Cooking boerewors is one of the easiest tasks on earth, but I have seen this sausage ruined by so called braai experts.
Don’t cook wors over too high a heat, you will ruin the flavour.
Don’t cook wors too long and burn it to cinders, it will be dry and tasteless.
Don’t cut it into shorter pieces during the braai period, you will let all the juices escape into the fire.
Don’t prick the wors with a fork while cooking it, in order for the fat, as some call the juices, to escape.
Properly cooked wors should be done, but succullent when eaten.
Grill over medium heat, turning only a couple of times using tongs, so as not to break the skin.
Serve when you can still see the juices bubbling inside.
A good braai host will always inquire as to who likes their food well done, and leave separate portions to cook longer for those who prefer it so.
Over-cooked meat cannot be undone!
Category: Traditional Foods
Subcategory: South African