Desperately seeking… boerewors



I had a request from Pim regarding my IMBB contribution of South African risotto. Pim wondered what she could substitute for boerewors in this recipe as she did not think she would be able to find boerewors in the US. Au contraire, Pim!! South Africans are well-travelled bunch & we don’t like to be far from the taste of home.

Often when we have a dinner party in London, people ask me to cook them an authentic South African meal. Nothing would please me more – but there is a problem. Well, there are 2 problems, really – the first one being what you would define as a traditional South African meal. Do you cook umnqgusho – samp and beans – with wild spinach on the side (traditional Xhosa); frikadelle with groenboontjiebredie – meatballs and bean stew (traditional Afrikaans); roast chicken and veg (traditional English) or a vegetable briyani (traditional Indian)… The list is as extensive as the various cultures of the Rainbow Nation.

The other problem is the fact that most of our unique South African dishes rely to a large extent on particularly South African ingredients which can be difficult or downright impossible to obtain abroad – I would love to make some smoked snoek (fish) patè or a lovely Kudu (game) fillet – or in a moment of wild abandon try my hand at waterblommetjiebredie (a traditional Cape stew made with mutton and a local aquatic herb). But I challenge anyone to find these raw ingredients outside South Africa at short notice – or at all!

However, it appears that I’m not the only one missing home cooking, which is why shops have sprung up supplying South African goodies wherever South Africans have congregated. Boerewors and biltong (dried meat seasoned with spices – like beef jerky only much, much better!) seem to be the main cravings, along with the sauces, spices, jams, chocolates and biscuits of home. So, for all those of you who are looking to taste South Africa without needing a passport, here are a few places who will gladly sell you South African produce – including boerewors for my risotto!

Web Butchers: 10 Montfort Place, Southfields, London SW19 6QL. Tel. (020) 87882959

Your South African Shop
Hunters Biltong




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  1. johan says

    Goeie dag.Ek will weet of jy vir my n boerewors resep can stuur.Ek will my eie boerewors maak asb.Dankie.Voor ek vergeet,mag julle n voorspoedige en n gelukkige nuwe jaar he.Johan.

  2. Kirsten says

    My name is Kirsten and I’m from Holland. I’ve spent a month in South-Africa travelling with a friend. We love the Xhosa-bread that we’ve tasted over there and we wonder if anyone knows the recipe for it?

  3. Miriam says

    Hallo daar,
    Ek is ‘n oud Suid Afrikaner nou woonagtig in Israel. Wil ook graag my eie boerewors maak, maar sonder die vark asseblief. Het jy dalkies iets.

  4. Shona Ramsfield says

    I am also looking for the Xhosa bread recipe. I was in SA for about 3.5 months and the Xhosa bread was by far one of my favorite foods while I was there. If anyone has the recipe I would love to have it so that I can share it with others.

  5. Amanda says

    I am a South African, mad about our traditional food and would like to share my favourite Xhosa bread recipes (we also call it mealie bread) with Kirsten and Shona. Remember to eat with lots of butter…..
    Xhosa “Mealie Bread”
    3 cups white flour
    5 teaspoons white sugar
    1 teaspoon salt
    5g instant dried yeast (or half a packet)
    ½ cup fresh yellow sweetcorn (cut off the cob)
    1 cup of lukewarm water
    Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, until it forms a dough, taking care to add the water slowly at the end so it doesn’t become too wet. Knead for only one minute.
    Put into a greased 20cm loaf tin and leave in a warm place covered with a damp tea towel for about 1 hour, or until double in size.
    Then place in a preheated oven (180ºF) for about 1 hour, or until golden brown.
    Very easy “Mealie Bread”
    500g self-raising flour
    1 tin creamed sweetcorn
    1 tin evaporated milk
    200g grated cheddar
    Salt & Pepper
    Mix all well together. Put into a greased loaf tin and bake in preheated oven 180°C for 45min or until golden brown
    Traditional South African Mealie Bread
    70 g (150 ml) maize flour
    265 g (550 ml) white flour (cake)
    (if you don’t have maize flour, use 700g white flour)
    12 g (25 ml) baking powder
    15 ml sugar
    2 ml salt
    450 ml milk
    80 ml oil
    3 eggs
    1 x 410 g-tin corn, drained (or replace with same amount creamed corn for a richer taste)
    Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, adding corn last. Put into a greased loaf tin and bake in preheated oven 180°C for 1 hr or until golden brown