Boerewors, Sadza and Gravy.

Exclusive to Southern Africa and now the world, boerewors.

Boerewors, sadza and gravy, exclusive to Southern Africa and now the world. Well I do surmise that most people will know what gravy is, but, boerewors, sadza? I doubt it very much?I was born in a beautiful, little, central African country formally known as Southern Rhodesia, Rhodesia, Zimbabwe Rhodesia and Zimbabwe, at different times in it’s history. But things went sadly wrong and now many of it’s citizens from all cultural divides are dispersed throughout the world.It’s a funny thing but people love their country, warts and all.The neighbour on our southern boundary was South Africa and there was a rich tapestry of shared foods and shared rituals. It goes back a long way in time. So I am going to delight you with more than one of these shared foods and rituals.Boerewors, Sadza and gravy.

New beginnings


So, you lose your country, or you decide to move elsewhere because you are not happy with the way things are. However there

New house new beginnings.

always remains a certain amount of nostalgia?For me this consisted of not being able to find certain foods. I kept on being reminded of things the way they were way back then. For a start my Dad was English and had a dislike of what we knew asbraivleis. It’s just a term for barbecue.Now every boxing day we were invited to a family friend’s house. My Dad went to the horse racing event of the day (The Castle Tankard) and we stayed at the friends house. Swimming, tennis, cricket on the lawn, driving the old midget. Oh what fun we had.In the evening it was their tradition, to have a braivleis (barbecue) and this was my introduction to them. I loved it and was my first experience of boerewors and from my first ever bite I had a lifelong romance for it.I have been living in Ireland for the last ten years and could never find it. Just lately however, I have found a butcher who makes it in Cork. At the moment I cannot get enough of it. Hooray.


A delightfully different sausage?

So there you are, it’s just a sausage. However it’s a different sausage and a splendid one. Nothing quite like it.Most sausages are

Boerewors and sadza.

made up of pork and that alone. So they may add some different flavours to these type of sausages and the list is almost endless. Garlic, leek,pepper, chilli, just to name a few.The boerewors stands out because it comprises both beef and pork which gives it, it’s distinct and unique flavour.Simple, so that just leaves us with sadza? Sneak preview of sadza can be seen in the photo here.


Tasty and different.


Here is some boerewors on the braai or barbecue. Don’t that look tasty? The secret is to cook it so that it is still dripping and not overdo it.


Staple Indigenous Southern African diet.

Maize as we call it or Corn as Americans and many others call it, is what many of the Indigenous people of Southern Africa rely

Green miellies.

on as their staple diet. They can eat it in many different forms. Some of the more popular ways being when it is still a green mealie, or in other words the cob is fully grown but the kernels still soft. Then they will just boil this and eat it like that. For people of European descent and for them as well in today’s changed times, this often makes a lovely addition to your barbecue or braaivleis. Spread butter over it and season to taste. Lovely. Another way is when the kernels have hardened and are ready for picking, to just roast it or grill on your barbecue. Also lovely.


A staple diet.

Now then when the kernel of the corn is dry enough to be stored it’s harvested and put away for storage. In some of the peasant

Indigenous woman preparing sadza.

communities in Southern Africa this just consists of cutting a few branches off trees and making a bed of this on stilts so it is above ground. Then as needs be the women grind the kernels. They have like a open wooden drum, lay the kernels in that and start pounding it with a big stick. Until it becomes known as mealie meal.In today’s modern world this is slowly becoming obsolete, but, not quite. They will load their corn on a bicycle or donkey and take it to a mill to be ground. Or they can just buy the end product in a shop. It is now ready for cooking.The mealie meal will be put in an urn or just a normal pot. Then cold water is added. It is put on a fire (as in Photo) and brought to boil until ready. When ready the consistency is akin to very hard porridge. The meal now begins.In the old days and still today, the people will grab some Sadza with their fingers and then mesh it into a ball in their palm. Then dip it into any other by product they have made with their meal and commence eating it. For them it is a staple diet like the Chinese with rice. As a matter of fact it is very tasty and a lovely meal. Which brings us back to braai’s or barbecue’s.Among the more affluent members of society, this has become a very welcome addition to your braai or barbecue. Which brings us back to boerewors, sadza and gravy?

Sadza on your barbecue.

Relish to add to your sadza, boerewors and gravy.

Relish ready to serve. Widgets


About spookmoor

I'm a 61 year old happily married man with three grown up children. I lost all my hearing as an eighteen year old whilst doing National Service and then had a Cochlear Ear Implant twenty years later. I love trying to explain these things to people and bits about my life. I never thought so at the time, but it was the best thing that ever happened to me. Thus one gets Random ramblings from a man who has seen a lot with a touch of humour underlying all.
This entry was posted in Culture & Society, Food & Cooking, Home & Garden, Recipes, Relationships & Family and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to Boerewors, Sadza and Gravy.

  1. Tess Bold says:

    Well Spook I still live the life…even though I am in S.A. The sunsets, the cultures, but mainly the braai and just getting together for some reminiscing …..will think of you the next time I eat a boerewors roll and it runs down my chin…or dip a roll of sadza into gravy…..Thanks for the read. Makes one realize how some of our friends miss out…….

  2. Maggi says:

    Not fair Spook, it is 7:30am (not quite light yet) and my mouth is watering. One of our local butchers here in Wagga make pretty good Boerewors, my kids to this day are addicted to the stuff and yes I have quietly put some away in the freezer for when James is home from boarding school. And a 5kg bag of mielie meal put away as well. So far I have got a good few Aussies enjoying the stuff especially when I make my sauce that goes with it. More so if I add a bit of chilli and garlic to the sauce, heaps of onion, tomato and 3 different types of mushrooms.

  3. msasa13 says:

    Lucky people here! We make our own wors, biltong and all that, and have great braais. Nothing like it, and the odd Scot joins in with gusto. In fact so much that he’s even built a lovely brick braai in their garden. As for us, it’s still the half barrel – nothing like tradition, hey! With sadza and relish of course…

  4. lekker nyama boet .. thanks for the great reminder and mouth watering longing for some. Alas not very available this side of the pond, but although the “boy is out of Africa, Africa remains in the boy.”

    • spookmoor says:

      Same here except we have a couple of places where we can get as so many South Africans here now. Can’t wait for my first braai this season, hopefully just around the corner.

  5. Ah, there’s nothing like food to bring back the childhood memories. Just the smell or even the mention of it can make your mouth water.

  6. sue stolk says:

    Lovely piece Spook ….This is soooo much a part of our culture that my family have accused me of being a pyromaniac…sigh * what can i say_there truly is nothing that tastes even vaguely similar to food (every imaginable type), cooked over a fire (preferably a mopani fire).. Coming from an Afrikaans background/heritage, boerewors is part of my culture and something i learned to make at the knee of my Grandfather, because he could not abide the “rubbish”, (as he termed it) that he was forced to buy from Butchers at extortionist prices. So I was truly blessed to have grown up with the best, and to this day i am very fussy about my boerewors and still have and make my precious Pappies recipe. I have eaten boerewors from Kariba to Cape Town, from Swakopmunt to Richards Bay and all points in between, and although some have been passingly edible, none have come up to his standard (sorry i am terribly biased.. sigh), cause as i learned, its not just what’s in it, but how you make it ! Sigh… I am rambling apologies…..,

    As for the Pap (sadza), well there are as many ways of making a good pot of pap or sadza as what there are of cooking tatties, and each will declare, his method is best… ..but we shan’t go into that here. The noble food of Pap/sada deserves a whole blog of its own …hehe … I silly you not !! (borrowed from a good friend of mine _she says grinning from ear to ear)!!

    As for the relish… here i am going to take you to task, younger man *tongue in cheek*. Where is the description/recipe for your favorite relish. The picture posted looks delicious, but would love the recipe… Relishes are sooo important in the great scheme of the braai… and the varieties of relishes are quite amazing…. watched a black lady collect black jack leaves one day with interest, to be presented with a sample a short while later…delicious ! Then i had the pleasure of teaching her about using carrot leaves for relish… yes …I started a new thing among the black folk in my area… hehehe ! … needless to say when carrots appear in the kitchen there is race on for the spoils… leaves are no longer bunged onto the compost heap….

    Of course each braai is always made unique, the smell, the sounds, the clear velvet skies, the moon/stars, beer/wine, but mostly because of the people around us and the “TOGETHERNESS” that we share …each one is a memory maker ..!!

    Thanks Spook for reminding me again of how precious this part of my heritage is….. here’s wishing clear skies and cold scotch for your braai escapades … Be blessed !!

  7. Bill Mac. says:

    Just find this memorable and water mouthing beautiful.

  8. Bar de Ness says:

    Delightful, evocative, educational and entertaining. I can almost smell the aromas. A first class read!

  9. Spook Moor says:

    Have you ever had it?

    • Nothing nicer than Wors Relish and Sadza!

    • Wait until you have had my sauce with your boerie and pap!

    • Spook Moor says:

      Delighted you made it Sheila Linforth, and thanks so much for the comment.

    • It is actually a bit of this and a bit of that, but critical is tomato, chopped onion, sugar, chilli oil (El's home-made, with garlic and home-grown chillis in olive oil) and a can of pineapple pieces with the juice. I cook it on the braai grid in an oven dish, and add wine, beer, brandy – whatever liquid is available – and it is best with a sacrificial piece of wors for the fat and the meaty flavour – about 4 inches will do. The wors tends to be overcooked, so best to skin it or mash it into the sauce as it cooks. It must reduce, obviously, for best results (which is why the alcohol gets chucked in. The sauce starts cooking well before the coals are ready for meat.

    • Of course, the secret to a good braai is to have good boerewors, and what you can buy in supermarkets these days is a poor excuse, in most cases. I am fussy – I get my boerewors from Albertinia (first prize, but 300km away), Swellendam (almost as good, 215km away), or Mooreesburg, only 120km away. All are great, and all are on the way to see clients that are out of town, so I take a cooler box and buy about 10-15kg at a time. I also get my lamb from a small town butcher, less stressed than the abattoir lambs, and therefore much better tasting meat. I guess I am probably a braai snob!

    • Spook Moor says:

      Sounds like me. When living in SA nobody was allowed to touch my braai and believe it or not was considered a master, everything ready at the same time. Since living here have only just found a butcher (eventually) who does it and so is a case of beggars can't be choosers? However after such a long wait it's such a pleasure to have it again. In essence though I agree wholeheartedly with you.

    • Wayne Grant says:

      I got a good butcher in Harrogate, makes wors, droe wors and very good biltong. He's an english guy who was taught by a safrican and he does a very good job of it. Yummy stuff.

    • Spook Moor says:

      Very pleased to hear that Wayne Grant, and delighted with your visit.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s