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I am willing to admit that I personally have not been enjoying South African cuisine nearly as much as I was enjoying Iranian cuisine. All of the dishes have been good but there have only been a handful where I was really "wowed" so much that I felt a need to post about it here and save the recipe to make again at a later date. That having been said, this past weekend I made something that made me do a little happy dance.
In South Africa they have what is called a braai. A braai is their term for a barbecue. Much like our barbecue's here in the U.S the South African braai is a social get together. Also like our barbecues there are foods that are specific to the braai. I chose to make one of these dishes for my family. What I decided on is a dish called Boerewors, Pap en Sous. Boerewors are a beef and pork sausage which is served over pap, a sweet corn-based porridge. The boerewors and pap are served with a tomato relish on top (the sous), which is a sort of sweet, vinegary tomato sauce.
Once again I have Charcutepalooza to thank for my new set of kitchen skills. Two years ago I would have passed this recipe over because I would have thought of the sausage making step as "too daunting", which of course, it isn't. By passing it over I would have been missing out on an awesome meal that my entire family (including my pickiest eater, aka Lily) scarfed down with minimal talking and lots of "Mmmmm" ing. And let's be honest, the satisfied sound of an "Mmm" muffled by a mouthful of food is what every cook wants to hear. If you've never made your own sausage I highly recommend it. It's fun and rewarding. If you want a great informative read on how to make your own sausages at home I would take a few minutes and check out this post over at Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Kitchen, I found it invaluable when I was learning it this time last year.
I looked over several recipes online for boerewors and settled on one that called for beef, pork, and bacon. You see, when you make sausage you need to include fat in the mix so that the sausage isn't dry and crumbly.
Dry + crumbly = no good
Usually the fat called for is pork back fat. This recipe called for bacon as the fat. If you are at all a lover of bacon you know why this is a good thing.
Bacon + other meat = yummy *always*
The recipe itself was rather vague when it came to cuts of meat so I settled on beef chuck and pork shoulder for the cuts I was going to use. I halved the recipe since it was the first time I was making it. The full recipe will make 6-7 lbs. of sausage, that's a lot. It is amazing though so the next time I make it I will make the full 6-7 lbs...did I mention how good this sausage is? It's worth it to learn to make your own sausage specifically for recipes like this. OK I'll get off my soapbox.
We made the boerewors a week ahead of time and I froze it so it would be very fresh for the braai. The day of the braai I made the sous and the pap. While those were simmering away I got my charcoal grill going, par-boiled the boerewors (which I had thawed the night before) and then cooked it off on the grill. Par-boiling sausage before grilling firms up the casing on the sausage to there is less cracking of the casing or sticking of the casing once it's on the grill. When the casing breaks two things can happen: the fat dripping from the sausage can catch fire and burn your sausage.
Burnt sausage = no good
The second thing that can happen is that all that fat you put into your sausage will drip out leaving you with a dry and crumbly sausage, which we already talked about.
The whole meal came together in one hour and tasted like it took way longer than that. I had even tried to invite over some other people to share in the braai with us, but alas everyone was busy *Hrumph* Maybe next time they will be able to come over and enjoy this meal with us (I'm looking at you dear brother in law).
Recipe adapted from Afri Chef
(Makes 6-7 lbs. of sausage)
- 3 pounds of beef chuck
- 3 pounds of pork shoulder
- 3/4 pound of bacon
- 1/4 pound of pork back fat
- 1/2 cup of red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup of Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons of salt
- 2 tablespoons of ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon of cloves
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 15 feet of fresh hog casings
- Put your grinder attachment in the freezer a couple of hours before you plan on making the sausage.
- Cut the beef chuck, the pork shoulder, the bacon, and the back fat into 1 inch cubes.
- Mix the meats with all the other ingredients except for the hog casings. Peel the garlic cloves but don't worry about chopping them the grinder will do that for you.
- Grind the meat into a bowl set over a bowl of ice, using a medium-coarse grinding plate. Put ground meat into the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- Wash the grinder and put it back in the freezer to keep it cold.
- While you're ground meat is in the refrigerator rinse your casings and let them soak in a bowl of water for 30 minutes.
- Lubricate your stuffer with a cooking spray to ensure that the casings don't tear. Thread the casings onto the stuffer. Fill the sausage casings firmly, but not too tightly with the ground meat.
- Once the casings are filled you can tie of the ends or twist them into links if you desire. If you see any air pockets pierce them with a needle to get the air out.
- Refrigerate for 24 hours before using. Boerewors can be kept for up to a 3 days in the refrigerator or for up to 3 months if frozen.
- 5-6 cups of water
- 1 cup of corn flour (*NOT corn meal. Corn flour is finer. I get mine in the organics section of my grocery store)
- 1 tablespoon of butter (*I used 2 tablespoons)
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- Boil the water in a non-stick pot and add the butter and the salt. Slowly whisk in the flour. Turn the heat to medium and wait for the pap to start bubbling. Cover the pot with a lid and let the pap simmer for 30-45 minutes. (The longer and slower it steams, the better the taste.)
- Serve hot.
Adapted from Welmoed
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 3 onions; chopped fine
- 1 granny smith apple; peeled, cored, and grated
- 1 15oz. can of fire roasted diced tomatoes (or 3 fresh tomatoes chopped, if they're in season)
- 1 16oz. jar of plain tomato sauce (I had some homemade sauce in the pantry)
- 1/4 cup of white vinegar
- 1/4 cup of Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon of dry mustard powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a pot over medium heat.
- Saute the onions, apple, and diced tomatoes until tender.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the mix.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Add water if the sauce starts to get a little dry.
- Check seasoning. Serves hot with the pap and the boerewors.