Friday, June 10, 2011
It took a while, but after we recovered from the promising but inconclusive and very fatty experience with Brooklyn-made boerewors last year, based on the first recipe that we used, we took a new one to our butcher and tried again. This after carefully chewing every piece of boerewors in South Africa to analyse variables such as texture, fat content and spice mix.
I tweaked our recipe, ditching the cubes of fat altogether and substituting pork belly for the 2lbs of lean pork required in the original. I added a little garam masala to the spice, I added more coriander, and also some allspice. Some cloves. More salt.
I took the spices and vinegar to Los Paisanos and presented Pedro with them. Then we waited two days before picking up our order...
Now, as any South African reading this will tell you, we did hit just one snag.
Right now they (stoppit!) are holding their sides and laughing like hyenas. The shape. Boerewors must be a single coil. Like this.
It was presented to us in links. I stifled a giggle.
But we are not proud. We are grateful that anyone is trying. We said nothing. We came home and we cooked, nervously, tensely. We picked a piece hot from the cast iron pan where it was smelling wonderful, burned our fingers and tasted. Our eyes welled with happy tears. Home. Perfection of flavor and texture.
We forgave every piece of string.
We now have boerewors in Brooklyn, our recipe will be on file (with a picture of a coiled sausage as a reminder), and if you want some, go to Los Paisanos on Smith Street and ask Mike or Pedro for Marie's Boerewors*, 6lb minimum order. I am hoping it may become a staple in their meat case, but that will only happen once South Africans get wind of this, or once locals fall in love (The Frenchie did not grow up with it, but it is probably his favourite food, after flan).
For ease of pronunciation we call it South African Farmers Sausage, since the Spanish and American tongues don't know what to do with boerewors.
* Update. I have posted my recipe for boerewors next door at 66 Square Feet (the Food). For now Pedro says it's better if people bring the spices themselves when they want a batch made up.