Boerewors in CT, at last.
Given that the online prices for the delicious South African sausage known as 'boerewors' (literally 'farmers sausage') is pretty expensive, when one includes overnight shipping - and given the ridiculous prices being charged in NY for tiny little pieces - as a relocated SA person, I figured 'a plan had to be made' locally.
(If you've visited SA, and tasted a sausage - odds are good that you've eaten one or another type of the basic boerewors family. It blows most of the tasteless sausages of other countries, out of the water entirely. In my opinion anyway :)
I supplied the local IGA (here in Windham: http://www.windhamiga.com ) with a basic recipe, and will be picking up the 20 pounds of yummy delicious goodies later.
(To make life easier for them, and reduce the cost, I also provided the spices, which range from toasted coriander, nutmeg, cloves, salt, vinegar - through to my own addition of a dose of standard 'peri-peri' -a Portuguese-South African birds eye chillies, which is way beyond US chillies strength)
Cost works out to around $3.99 a pound.
Point being - for those people who know the taste of boerewors, and don't want to spend fortunes to get that very unique taste of South Africa again - it can't hurt to make friends with your local butchery and cut a deal.
I'll be eating up a load of the newly arrived sossies later, and testing out the recipe that I supplied them. I'll take pix, and report back on how close to the real thing it is. If the taste is right, I'll post the simple recipe that I passed to them - so that folks in this region, can find their own nearby friendly butcheries who'll be willing to make the stuff.
Okay, well, it helps to have tasted the stuff - so that you know whether its okay or not. For me, I just tried grilling some, and its 'sort of' okay - but frying it gives a better result, but...
Its still not 100% 'right' - so I'm probably gonna have to go ask advice of the chefs on various South African forums. (Boerewors and biltong are almost like a religion to some folks, its taken very seriously :) And there's a lot of different, heavily guarded recipe secrets.
I can't work out whether the fault of taste, is the quantities of spices (ie: more needed) or whether its the meat or, ugh 'filler' which may have been used.
That said - as a bare basic recipe - which ALMOST delivers the boerewors taste.
And hopefully I'll be able to update this - or be corrected by SA Chowhound members - the recipe I passed to the butcher was:
(4.4 lb) prime Beef
(2.2 lb) Pork
(50 ml or 10 tsp) Coriander
(½ tsp) ground Cloves
(½ tsp) ground Nutmeg
(25 ml or 5 tsp) fine Salt
(1 tsp) freshly ground Black Pepper
( lb) Bacon
100 ml Vinegar
Casing (Pork casing is good)
To prepare coriander: (15ml produces 5ml)
1. Place in dry pan, heat and stir until light brown.
2. Grind, sieve to remove husk. Grind remainder to a fine powder. (A plastic food storage bag and a rolling pin works well.)
From a taste perspective, it seems to possibly need more cloves, and black pepper - although my partner, who's a wussy sensitive eater, says theres plenty of black pepper already...
So in some ways, a failed experiment - but I do have a freezer full of 'almost' boerewors, that's quite tasty regardless.
Just to clarify, the IGA locally doesnt stock the stuff, they made it up for me - so don't head to it in hopes of seeing it on the shelf just yet.
I think I might expend the money to buy some 'commercial' South African boerwors spice, in order to ensure I get it right the next time..