The Voortrekkers had an abundance of livestock on their farms, so they experimented and tested new recipes to cure meat. They found they could take clean animal intestines put meat and spices into them and hang them out to dry. The thin sausage dried quickly and became known as DroeWors.
People usually ask what Droewors is and what it means. Droewors, translated from Afrikaans, means dry sausage. It was created in South Africa as a snack food when the Voortrekkers migrated from the Cape to the Transvaal.
What is Droewors Made of?
Droewors (“thin sausage”), which is similar to boerewors (“thick sausage”) is a sausage made from beef or mutton with sheep tail fat spiced with salt, pepper, cloves, coriander and vinegar and stuffed into thin sausage casings.
The product is closely related to the dutch ‘droge worst’, also known as metworst, and Italian salumi which is made from minced pork and then air-dried in a colder climate and more humid conditions.
How to Make Droewors
Here is a traditional droewors recipe we use to make our batch of South African droewors.
Traditional Droewors Recipe
- 4.5 kg beef or mutton
- 1 kg sheep’s tail fat
- 34g fine salt (30ml)
- 20g whole coriander (50ml)
- 5 ml ground cloves
- 10 ml freshly ground black pepper
- 90g casings (use mutton cases when making mutton droewors)
First, prepare the coriander by scorching the seeds in a frying pan until they turn light brown. Next, grind them with a pestle and mortar. Pass the crushed seeds through a sieve to remove all the husks. Crush 15ml of whole coriander to obtain 5ml ground coriander.
Cut the beef, mutton, and sheep’s tail fat into 50mm cubes and combine with the remaining ingredients.
Mince together, then loosely stuff into casings. Dip the sausages into a mixture of 4,5l boiling water and 350ml vinegar, then hang over wooden rods thick enough to prevent the inner surfaces from touching.
Dry in a cool, draughty place for 24 hours, then flatten to expel the air. Leave hanging until the sausages are entirely dried
Can You Freeze it?
This allows the meat to dry quicker, allowing it to be preserved. You cannot use pork or veal as it goes rancid when dried. Droëwors is cured by air drying in Southern Africa, including Namibia. You can also use a biltong maker to cure it if you are north of the equator.
Droëwors can be frozen for months when dried. However, Droëwors should always be kept dry as they can go mouldy very quickly.
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