Droëwors is a popular South African snack food based on the traditional coriander seed spiced boerewors sausage. It is usually made from “dun wors” (Afrikaans for “thin sausage”) rather than “dik wors” (“thick sausage”), as the thinner sausage dries more quickly and is thus less likely to spoil before it can be preserved. If dik wors is to be used, it is usually flattened to provide a larger surface area for drying.
The recipe used for these dried sausages is similar to that for boerewors, though pork and veal are usually replaced by beef, as the former can go rancid when dried. Mutton fat replaces the pork fat used in boerewors. Drying makes the sausage ideal for unrefrigerated storage.
Droëwors is unusual among dried meats in that it is dried quickly in warm, dry conditions, unlike traditional Italian cured salami, which is dried slowly in relatively cold and humid conditions. A further difference is that droëwors does not contain curing agent as found in a traditional cured sausage. A direct result of this is that droëwors should not be kept in moist conditions as mould can begin to form more easily than would happen with a cured sausage.
This product is related both in name and in nature to the Dutch “droge worst”.
Why all this talk of droëwors all of a sudden, you might ask? Well, it is because it is that time of the year again when droëwors artisans get their due! After the successful Stellenbosch Hills/Freddy Hirsch Biltong Challenge in 2012, it was decided to alternate between crowning South Africa’s best biltong and droëwors maker every year.
Registration is now open for the Stellenbosch Hills Droëwors Maker of the Year challenge, so start drying those sausages!
Freddy Hirsch, South Africa’s foremost spice suppliers to the meat industry, has signed up as sponsor for the second year. They chose to partner in the Stellenbosch Hills annual competition as it combines some of South African favourites, droëwors and wine. This competition is ideal for local droëwors makers to showcase their skills using the quality selection of spices and to inspire others to try it for themselves.
Each year a different Stellenbosch Hills wine is chosen to be the inspiration for entrants. The winner’s droëwors must be the best match for the chosen wine. This year the choice of wine is the Stellenbosch Hills 1707 Reserve, 2010. Entrants can use any meat for their entries and prizes of R60000 are up for grabs. Judging will take place during September, after which the top three places will be announced at a gala lunch in November.
Prospective entrants for this battle of the best droëwors can order entry packets at a cost of R150. This includes a bottle of Stellenbosch Hills 1707 Reserve, a Freddy Hirsch spice pack, as well as delivery costs for the entry pack. For more information, visit www.stellenbosch-hills.co.za, or call 021 881 3828.
Participants must register before or on September 2. Closing date for entries is September 27 when 500g of droëwors from all participants must be delivered at Stellenbosch Hills for judging.
Let’s make some Droëwors!
- 3 kg beef or venison (no pork or veal, it goes rancid when dried)
- 100 gr beef fat (no pork or spek)
- 25 ml salt
- 5 ml ground black pepper
- 15 ml coriander, singed and ground
- 1 ml ground cloves
- 2 ml nutmeg powder
- 125 ml brown vinegar
- 25 ml brandy (optional)
- 25 ml masala (optional)
- 200 gr narrow (thin) sausage casings
Always use very lean beef. However, even lean beef might have a certain amount of fat in it. Make sure that there is no more than 5% fat in the mix, otherwise you will end up with a very greasy dry wors!
- Cube all meat.
- Mix together thoroughly and mince coarsely.
- Place meat in large bowl.
- Add all dry spices, vinegar and brandy (if used).
- Mix together lightly with a two pronged fork.
- Place in fridge for +/- 2 hours to blend flavours.
- Soak casings in water during this period.
- Fit casings to sausage maker and fill with mixture.
- Do not over- or under-stuff.
- This wors is more suitable for drying than it is for cooking. Due to the absence of pork and spek, it is not as succulent as normal boerewors and many people find the cooked variety of this recipe a bit to dry for their liking.
- Also, hang this wors a bit longer than other types of wors as most people prefer it drier than the rest. It should snap like a twig when bent.
© 2013 Biltongmakers.com