Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Boerewors in Brooklyn!

You don't understand.

Or maybe you do.

It depends who you are.

There's no boerewors, here.

You see, once Vince had eaten his first bite of boerewors, there was no going back. He cries himself to sleep at night imagining sizzling coils of it on a kameeldoring fire. In South Africa, at home, I think we bored my parents to death by demanding braais every night: boerewors, lamb chops, lamb chops, boerewors, lamb ribs, boerewors.

Alleviated by a lot of arugula.

What is boerewors? - boo-ruh- vors. It is sausage. South African farmers' sausage, made with beef, mutton, pork, coriander, vinegar and important little pieces of fat. It's made in long coils, not links, and of course every butcher has his own recipe, and every grandmother her own. And it should be cooked on a fire.

I had this idea the other day, and I remembered it as we walked down to Los Paisanos on Smith this afternoon, to buy lamb shanks for tomato bredie to go with this cold wet evening. Los Paisanos makes a lot of sausage. Good sausage. Brats, duck, wild boar, blood, Berkshire pig, Italian with fennel seeds, Italian without fennel seeds, breakfast sausage, merguez, beef and herb, chicken and apple, chorizo...

And I have a boerewors recipe.

Why not...ask them if they'll make boerewors to the recipe????

So I did. And my favourite butcher said yes! I nearly spun a cartwheel on the spot. When he saw my face he burst out laughing. It was the most delighted I've been all year.  How much you want? he asked: 3lbs? You'll make that little on a custom order? I asked... Anything for you, he said.

I know he says that to all the girls, but I like it anyway.

I am so excited. I wonder what the first batch will taste like. I've checked with Vissie, my wors advisor, now based in Australia, who has tested the recipe thoroughly.

It will be the first boerewors sold in Brooklyn. I think. I don't think I'll be able to sleep tonight.

Start your fires. Boerewors is coming to town.

Update, 02-13-2015: You can now place boerewors orders at Los Paisanos, the butcher who has been helping develop this pilot boerewors project. The minimum order is for 6lbs and you MUST bring your own spices and vinegar. 

If you want to make your own spice mix head on over next door to 66 Square Feet(the Food) for the boerewors recipe.


  1. Hey, you gotta good butcher. Where's he located?

    I've found that it is often harder to find the fennel seeded Italian than the not. I grew up with the fennel kind, which we bbqed, then squirted fresh lemon on. In winter, of course, in tomato sauce.

    By the way, thanks for the phonetics! I've been saying it like Boer Wars for too long.

  2. Can't wait to hear the result.
    Good title for a book "Boerewors in Brooklyn"

  3. Jislaaik man...."fresh" boerewors rolls...do you have them with Mrs Balls Chutney?
    Really....its time you got your own TV program...

  4. Hi Marie,
    Boerewors on the menu tonight. With mash and gravy and peas. And a few beers.
    Will think of you and Vince.

  5. Awesome that you can get this from your butcher! Nice!!

  6. Wow! That's awesome. I have boerewors envy now. None here (that I know of) in Germany. But I did find a supply of Savanna the other day. Yay!

  7. That is terrific! What is he planning to charge per pound?

  8. Frank - he's on Smith, between Bergen and whatever the next one south, is. It's old school, and not retro old school, either. Boer Wars, hahahaha....

    Hen, yes, it is...maybe a story.

    Lucien - eish! You know I never really was exposed to a lot of boerewors rolls so I'm not a connoisseur - usually only at school fetes (remember them?). Though we had killer ones outside Nieuwoudtville a few years ago, on hot roosterkoek. But I have a new bottle of Mrs Ball's in the cupboard...:-)

    Thanks, Petro :-)

    Meems, we'll save some for you in Jersey...

    Kerry - maybe try your own butcher with a recipe? I'll post it if it succeeds.

    Pam, GOOD question. I was too excited to jinx the whole business by asking. We'll see. I'm going to roast my own supply of coriander today, though I'm not sure if that's allowed, with food safety rules and so on...I'll report back.

  9. Ah what a small word this is.. was just 'chatting' to Warren about boerewors and other things... Enjoy xxx

  10. Well I hope the sausage will turn out as good as the ones in the picture. Guten Appetit!

  11. A butcher (or any business) who will listen to requests, maybe even comply...
    Looking forward to the B in B.

  12. Sorry to be a purist, but there isn't anything more horrid sounding than "brat" except in the plural. Bratwurst, please.

  13. Hi Fran!

    Monica, we hope, we hope.

    dinahmow - yep...a treasure.

    Oh, Klaus, I am suitably chastened, Sorry: bratwurst...

    'Brats' might be a Roald Dahl like sausage, whose threat hangs over small children.

  14. OMG!!! Here in Dubai we can get it ordered from a South African butcher in town, and he will deliver! How lucky are we? Can't wait to hear all about the result.

  15. Ok, so the suspense is killing me. When do we actually taste them? Let's go there today!

  16. Hey! I'm hoping to get boerewors for a Botswanan meal I'm cooking tomorrow for my culinary romp around the world (see unitednoshes.com). I'm not far from Los Paisanos so how amazing it would be if they could do the same for me. Two questions though: could you share with me the recipe you used? And how much advance notice do they need? Like, could they do it in the span of a few hours? Thanks much.

  17. Please ignore my previous comment, I clearly didn't read enough of what's on your site, and now I have all the details. Shame on me for waiting until the day before I needed it, with a few days' lead time I'd surely have done it. Thanks, a pleasure to read this all.


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