How to make your own droëwors

Posted by Tyson Jopson on 24 April 2013

I was recently at the Freddy Hirsch factory in Cape Town at the launch of the Stellenbosch Hills Freddy Hirsch Droëwors-maker of the year 2013 competition. In a nutshell (or should I say, sausage casing) they’re challenging you to make your own droëwors and win a share of R60 000 in prizes.

I’m no expert, but I did go through the process of making my own droëwors from scratch at the factory and I’m pretty good at following instructions (although my girlfriend will disagree), so I’m going to help you out a little and show you how to make your own.

OK, that’s not entirely true. I’m going to show you how to make your own wors and then leave you with some instructions I found on how to dry it because I never actually got around to the drying part. I got so hungry while making the whole thing thing that I chucked it on the braai as soon as I got home. Nonetheless …

Hardware

I’ll be referring to items like mincers, fillers and plates. They’re not rocket parts. They’re the tools you’ll need to make your wors. Buying your own can be quite expensive so I’d suggest renting them from a catering company or going halvies with a chom, or four choms. Visit the Freddy Hirsch equipment page to see what these items look like.

Ingredients

  • 3 kilograms of lean beef / lamb / donkey / horse / koala … just kidding. But you are allowed to use any type of meat as long as it’s disclosed. Do not use pork or veal as it goes rancid when dried. If you’re a little hesitant to branch out into the exotic then just go with beef (a.k.a Perfectly Normal Beast), please.
  • 300 grams of fat
  • A wild mix of spices

I’m not going to give you much more info on which spices to use because it’s up to you to you to make up a killer spice combo that’ll take your little worsie to the top. However, if you’re just making droëwors for fun or want to experiment a little before you settle on a flavour, you can buy pre-mixed bags of droëwors spice from any Freddy Hirsch store. They usually include various combinations of coriander, cloves, nutmeg and black pepper.

Stellenbosch Hills Freddy Hirsch Droëwors-maker of the year 2013

Avoid any complications by using beef (a.k.a Perfectly Normal Beast)

Stellenbosch Hills Freddy Hirsch Droëwors-maker of the year 2013

Sheep casings, not spaghetti. You'll be surprised at how durable they are.

Stellenbosch Hills Freddy Hirsch Droëwors-maker of the year 2013

The spice selection is completely up to you. Make it awesome.

Production

  • Mix together beef and fat. The less fat you put in the leaner your wors will be but don’t put in too little as it will become dry. 300 grams of fat to three kilograms of beef works out to a ratio of nine parts beef to one part fat (i.e. 10% fat) which is already quite lean. To be safe, stay somewhere between 10% – 30% fat.
  • Pre-cool the meat to 2°C.
  • Mince the meat through a 13 mm plate on the mincer.
  • Add your dry spice mix to the meat, mix it in with your hands and put the whole lot back into your fridge for approximately three hours to let the spices really sink in.
Tip: I added a healthy dash of 2010 Stellenbosch Hills 1707 Reserve to my mix for a little zing. Why? Because it was there.
  • Mix the entire product through again and then mince through a 4.5 mm plate on the mincer.
  • Put your mixture into the filler in such a way that their is no air trapped in your mix (basically, squish it around a bit, knead the air out of it and make sure there is no pocket of air between the mix and the nozzle of the filler).
  • Slide the sheep casings over the nozzle filler and then start filling the casings slowly by using one hand to turn the filler and the other to slowly guide the casings off the nozzle. If you release the casing too slowly it’ll break and if you do it too quickly you’re going to get skinny wors. You’re definitely going to muck this up a few times until you get a good rhythm, but that’s part of the fun.
Stellenbosch Hills Freddy Hirsch Droëwors-maker of the year 2013

Your beef / fat mix will need to go through the mincer twice (with a 13 mm plate and a 4.5 mm plate respectively) to get a good consistency.

Stellenbosch Hills Freddy Hirsch Droëwors-maker of the year 2013

My special ingredient, a healthy dose of cheeky.

Hanging

  • Place your wors in a biltong cabinet at a temperature of 30°C with a UV light switched on for 24 hours.
  • After 24 hours switch off the UV light and set the temperature to 32°C and continue drying until your desired moisture level has been reached.
Tip: If you don’t want to buy a biltong cabinet, check out how to make your own biltong dryer in an afternoon.

 

Things to remember when drying / hanging your wors

  • Always use plastic or metal hooks.
  • Make sure your cabinet, hooks and sticks are clean and wipe down with a cloth soaked in vinegar before hanging.
  • Under no circumstances should wood be brought into contact with the raw meat.
  • Your drying time will depend on the temperature, so check regularly.
Stellenbosch Hills Freddy Hirsch Droëwors-maker of the year 2013

Yours truly, making some wors. Please note the hairnet. If you're making yours at home you won't need to wear one, unless you want to because it's sexy.






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