Hartford House

The Home of Good Conversation, Fine Wine and Classic Horses

Award-winning hotel and restaurant situated at Summerhill Stud on the picturesque KwaZulu-Natal Midlands Meander, South Africa.

The Boerewors Roll... a South African Institution

How does one explain a boerewors roll to foreigners? I tell them it’s a meaty, coarsely-textured, very-savoury, well-balanced, juicy kind-of sausage. Could you do better than that?
— Jackie Cameron
Jackie Cameron Head Chef

Jackie Cameron
Head Chef

I remember on my first trip to Germany, the chefs who I was working with believed the Big 5 roamed freely in South Africa. Try getting the flavour, aroma and texture of boerewors - as well as the traditional braai philosophy - across to people who lack the fundamental knowledge of our country... Any facts regarding our customary foods took a long time to explain but the information was readily absorbed.

My grandfather owned A and D Butchery in Pietermaritzburg's Commercial Road (now Chief Albert Luthuli Street). Here they called boerewors Dutchman's Delight - DD. My cousin, Mark Berriman, emigrated to live in Australia and the first recipe he asked me for was our grandfather's boerewors. Unfortunately I never had the opportunity to chat about food and, in particular, meat with my grandfather before he passed away. Peter Spiers, who owns Manor Butchery in Pietermaritzburg, and who worked with my grandfather, was prepared to share his recipe with me. I believe it is as close as possible to a formula for success.

Bread rolls can be bought but homemade is always so much better, if time allows. Hot and soft - fresh from the oven - and slightly sweet smelling is what I enjoy. My cravings are not limited to chicken livers; I also hanker after boerewors, tomatoes and hot peri-peri sauce. With the result a staff meal at Hartford often ends up being a wors roll. Thick lashings of butter, English mustard as well as tomato-and-onion chunky chutney - or a homemade onion relish - more-than meet my craving.

I'm often asked "with real butter?" as though it is a treat - something not commonly used. Remember butter is butter and the rest is margarine. I'm aware that butter is the more expensive option but, as the saying goes, trust the cow rather than the scientist. As children we often used to over-whisk cream so, on special occasions, my mother would buy double quantities - just in case. If you happen to over-whip your cream, continue the whisking process and it will end up as butter.

Try my fancy boerewors roll. Can/should a wors roll be fancy? Some foods are fit for kings and, I might add, queens! Does a boerie roll qualify? I'll leave you to answer as you celebrate our heritage with a boerewors roll in one hand and a beer in the other - even better if it's a craft beer created by Megan Gemmell of Pietermaritzburg... contact her at megan@clockworkbrewhouse.co.za. I grew up with Megan's brothers who I met through my friend Kelly Clarke; we were all around the same age. I always advocate supporting local artisan companies - knowing the brewer, in this case, makes the experience that much more enjoyable.

I suggest ending on a sweet note so a beer-and-peanut butter parfait with a thick, buttery tennis-biscuit base and hot caramelised bananas (heated, skin on, on the cooling coals) is my decadent choice for you!

RECIPES

Bread Rolls
Home-made Butter
Boerewors
Wholegrain Mustard
Chunky Tomato and Onion Relish
Peanut Butter and Beer Semi-Freddo

Send comments and food-related questions to jackie@hartford.co.za. I always look forward to hearing from you.

Visit www.jackiecameron.co.za to find out more about my women's chef range, JACKIE CAMERON COOKS AT HOME and all my foodie adventures. I always look forward to hearing from you. Jackie Cameron (Head Chef: Hartford House - 033 263 2713). For the latest on local foodie news add me as a friend on FACEBOOK. Find me on Twitter - @jackie_cameron.

Jackie Cameron
Head Chef / Hartford House
www.hartford.co.za
+27 33 263 2713

Food styling and recipe development by Elaine Boshoff.

Photography courtesy of :
Karen Edward's Photography
082 441 7429
karene@bundunet.com
www.karenephotographysa.com / www.midlandsphotographers.wordpress.com