How to Make Droewors at Home

Droë Wors (dry sausage) is a South African snack which consists of sausages that are dried and cured, making for a delicious and portable food item that can be taken along on picnics, long car rides, and hiking trips. The sausage is made with very lean beef, in order to keep the product from turning greasy and limp – the Droë Wors is supposed to have a characteristic snap when it is bent in half.

Prep time: 3-4 days
Refrigerator time: 2 hours
Total time: About 4 days and 2 hours
Yield: Makes around 2 kilograms
Utensils: Sausage maker, biltong/droewors box

Beef or venison: 3 kg
Beef fat (no pork or spek): 100 gr
Salt: 25 ml
Ground black pepper: 5 ml
Coriander, singed and ground: 15 ml
Ground cloves: 1 ml
Nutmeg powder: 2 ml
Brown vinegar: 125 ml
Brandy (optional): 25 ml
Marsala (optional): 25 ml
Narrow (thin) sausage casings: 200 gr


  • 1

    To begin, cube all the meat and fat with a sharp knife.  It is essential to use meat with a very low fat content so the sausages dry better – go for lean cuts of beef of venison, and avoid pork or veal, as these go rancid when dried. Keep in mind that there should be no more than 5% fat in the entire sausage mix, as this will lead to a greasy and unappetising wors.

  • 2

    Once you have cubed all the meat and fat, mix it all together, and mince it coarsely – no need to be too fine or thorough with this. Then, place all this mince in a large bowl, and add in all the dry spices, the wine, and the vinegar. Use two pronged forks to mix it all up until everything in the bowl is thoroughly combined.

  • 3

    Cover the bowl with cling film, and place it in the refrigerator for 2 or more hours, to allow the flavours to develop and blend together completely. While the meat is chilling, soak the sausage casings in water – make sure you use thin casings, as these will allow the sausages to dry better later on.

  • 4

    Finally, fit the casings onto your sausage maker, and stuff them with the sausage mixture – be careful not to overstuff, or understuff the casings.

  • 5

    Once the sausages are ready, the final step is to dry them – since these are very lean, they are not meant to be cooked, and need to be dried out. This process can be tricky, and even hazardous to health if not done properly, as drying meat can attract insects. Do not attempt the drying process unless you have a specially built biltong/droewors box. Place your sausages inside this device for around 3 to four days. You will know they are ready when they snap sharply when bent in half.

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