Traditional South African Farmers Sausage is called Boerewors (pronounced Buurewörs). The direct translation for boerewors would be “Farmers Sausage”.
Borewors has a coarse texture and consists of beef, pork, a small amount fat and spices. It is extremely tasty and can have a wide range of flavours. Popular flavour variations include garlic and chili.
Boerewors is especially good for barbecues and is an important part of any South African barbecue. When cooking on a BBQ, the juices slowly ooze out through the skin and drip onto the coals creating a smell sensation that will make every person who is close by, mouths water.
Cooking Tips (Instructions later)
Preparation of boerewors is easy. Remove the boerewors from the package and cook the boerewors without adding any extra spices. Mustard, ketchup or other sauces can be added later when the boerewors is served.
Keep the boerewors in the coiled shape. Do not cut it into pieces or unroll it as is easier to turn when it is coiled. Boerewors can be grilled over the coals of a barbecue or in the oven. It can be fried in a frying pan, cooked as a stew and even used to make soup.
When cooking boerewors, it is very important that the skin is not pierced or broken while it is being cooked. It makes life easy if you use a folding type of grill (halsteri) as this allows the boerewors to be turned easily and minimizes the risk of breaking the skin.
Another way to turn the boerewors is to use a pair of tongs that have long flat wide ends or use a long, wide spatula to turn the boerewors over so that you do not break the skin. To turn the boerewors over, open the tongs wide, slide one side under the boerewors, hold the boerewors firmly with the tongs and carefully turn the boerewors over. If you use a spatula the method is the same but you will need to support the boerewors with your hand while turning the boerewors over.
When cooking boerewors on a barbecue Be very careful not to overcook the boerewors as it will end up being dry.
Do not “double cook” the boerewors. As an example, Do not cook the boerewors in the oven first and then pan fry it or vice versa. Cook using one method only. Never boil boerewors before cooking it.
The key to cooking boerewors is to use to get the heat correct. The heat should be hot enough to cook the boerewors and change the outside colour to a nice brown colour but not so hot that it will burst the boerewors and lose all the juices. Keeping the juices inside the skin allows the boerewors to cook through and retain the moistness. If too much of the juices leak out of the boerewors, the boerewors will become dry. If you do not like the juices, use a toothpick or skewer to prick the boerewors at the very last moment before removing it from the heat and allow the juices to escape before removing it from the barbecue or frying pan. Only release the juices at the very last moment!!
The suggested internal cooking temperature is 160°F/71°C but pricking the boerewors to insert the thermometer probe will release the juices if it is done too early and too often, making the boerewors dry. Make a judgement call rather.
Cooking Boerewors on the Barbecue – Charcoal/Grillihiili/Grillibriketit
Start the fire and allow the coals time to burn properly. The coals are ready when they are coated with white ash and the flames have died down. During the cooking juices will ooze slowly out of the boerewors and drip onto the coals. This may cause a flare-up of the flames. In this case, gently sprinkle some water (or beer) onto the flames to cool the fire down. If too much liquid is thrown onto the fire at one time it will cause the ash to rise from the coals.
The grill or halsteri should be cool and not hot or the boerewors will stick to the grill. After the grill has been cleaned, remove the grill from the BBQ to allow the grill time to cool down. The BBQ is ready when you can hold your hand about 100mm above the grill height and can hold your hand there for 10 seconds. Place the grill over the coals and start cooking the boerewors. Turn the boerewors regularly. Be careful not to break or burst the boerewors when turning it. This is why a folding grill (halsteri) is recommended. Boerewors is cooked when the outside color is golden brown on both sides. This normally takes about 20 to 25 minutes total time when cooked over the coals. Cooking boerewors over flames is not good as the boerewors will burst and the juices escape. Once removed from the coals allow the boerewors to stand for about 2 to 3 minutes before serving.
Cooking time is ±20 minutes (juicy) or ±30 minutes (well done and not moist)
Cooking Boerewors in a Frying Pan
Do not boil the boerewors before frying it. Lightly coat the bottom of the frying pan with vegetable oil or olive oil. Use only enough oil to prevent the boerewors from sticking to the pan. Gently fry the boerewors until it is a golden brown colour on both sides. It will take about 10 minutes per side to cook. Be careful not to burst or break the boerewors when turning it.
Cooking time ±20 minutes (juicy,) 30 minutes (well done).
Cooking Boerewors in the Oven
Do not boil the boerewors before grilling it. Heat the oven to about 175C. Rub the outside of the boerewors with a light coating of vegetable oil or olive oil and place the boerewors in an oven pan or dish. Make sure that the dish is large enough as the boerewors will swell when cooking. After about 15 minutes turn the boerewors over. Be careful not to break or burst the boerewors when turning it. After ±20-25 minutes the boerewors should be ready to eat.