The origin of spicy 'farmer's sausage' is attributed to early German settlers who knew all there was to know about sausage-making. As mincing machines only came onto the scene in the nineteenth century, meat was previously finely chopped. Making boerewors is an individualised and satisfying (thought time-consuming) task, one you won't want to do on the day of the braai; for the best flavour and tenderness, wors should mature for a few days in the fridge before being cooked. It may be frozen for up to three months. Besides being braaied, boerewors may be dried, thought in this case a thinner sausage is usually made.
2 kg well-matured beef from the forequarter
1 kg fatty pork (neck, shoulder or belly)
45 ml coriander seeds
5 ml whole cloves
30 ml salt
15 ml milled black pepper
2 ml grated nutmeg
10 ml ground allspice
10 ml brown sugar
125 ml dry red wine or grape vinegar
90 g thick natural sausage casings, soaked in water
Trime the beef and pork of all sinews. Cut into long, narrow strips about 3 cm in diameter, and freeze for about 30 minutes. Mince through a coarse mincer for a rough texture; finely if you prefer. Feed through the machine with very little assistance from the tamper. Finish by mincing a piece of bread to remove the last vestiges of meat.
Roast the coriander and cloves in a dry frying pan until aromatic. Grind with pestle and mortar and sift to remove husks. Mix with remaining spices and sugar, and sprinkle over the mince. Lightly mix with the red wine or vinegar.
Drain sausage casings, place one end over the filling horn and push on, leaving a 10-cm length hanging down. Tie a knot in this. Feed sausage mixture into the mincer a little at a time, while securing the casing with gentle pressure on the horn to control the unrolling of the casing as it is filled. Mould the sausage uniformly with your hand. Don't pack the casing too full, or the wors will burst while cooking, and try to avoid air bubbles forming.
Remove the filled sausage - still attached to the horn - from the machine. Push remaining boerewors mixture into the casing and tie knot in the end.
Braai boerewors quickly over hot coals. The skin should be crisp and the middle still slightly pink. Serve immediately.
MAKES 3.5 KG