Hastings on Food

2015-09-10 06:00
The proudly South African  ‘boerie’ roll.

The proudly South African ‘boerie’ roll.

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Wild Coast Sun Executive Chef

SALUTATIONS boerie rolls. I am currently on leave and this year I decided to head for Thabazimbi in the Limpopo hills-cum-bush respectively.

After a couple of peaceful days In Johannesburg I find myself on the road with my dear friend Nikki going towards Thaba Nkwe lodge where she is the general manager.

Although the Thaba Nkwe lodge is some 200km from Lanseria Airport, I was pleasantly surprised of how close Hartebesstport Dam has become to surrounding areas and turned into a thriving metropolis holding its own right.

En route towards our destination one always encounters occurrences that are outside the norm and the journey forms part of the experience.

After a quick, not so memorable- someone’s-got-it-breakfast in Brits, we stop for an hour at a small co-op dealing in local vegetable produce. It was enlightening to experience the goings on and I was thrilled that many individuals sported the amakozi for clothing.

Being only halfway there it was soon time to head on and I found the surrounding landscape quite tedious as it had become an unfamiliar dry alien environment that played havoc with my sinuses and left me rather parched.

Lo and behold, after some thirst torture,­ I saw one of many signs advertising cold refreshments. I salivated on downing a formidable beverage, after what can only be described as surviving a crawl through some desert, we turned into the establishment only to find it closed with a goat at the front door which I presumed was the duty barman. Regrettably, as I am only versed in moo and not baa, I got nowhere and had to soldier on.

Finally into Thabazimbi, an iron- ore mining town proclaimed in 1953, whose operator Kumba Resources, boasts one of the largest mining shafts in Africa producing annually in excess of 2 million tons of ore. Its name, which aptly means “the mountain of iron” is situated at the base of the Ysteberg with the majestic Kransberg in the background.

Our destination - the renowned Thaba Nkwe Lodge - is situated five kilometres from thabazimbi, close to the Big 5 Marakele national park.

The lodge is positioned on 350 hectares of rugged terrain with fantastic trails and facilities for mountain biking, quad and 4x4 trails for novices and extremists.

It has numerous secure rustic cabins and self-catering chalets all with braai facilities however, for safety reasons­, due to the thatch, smoking is not allowed within the units.

The lodge’s spacious fully licensed restaurant, where I was fortunate to have the best steak I have ever eaten prepared by the head chef Ellie, so well renowned that locals come from as far as 100km away just to enjoy his delicious food.

The adjacent bar, with pool table, can be very festive with guests as well as locals and caters for sports events on its numerous TV and big screens. In the future if you are offered a shooter called cloudy with a chance of meatballs, please acknowledge that it was conceived here during my stay.

The lodge also caters for weddings, conferences and private functions and has an open fire pit swimming pool and boma as well as facilities for camping and caravans purely on a first come, first serve basis, unless by prior arrangement.

For golf enthusiasts there is an nine-hole golf course eight kilometres away, additionally the mall - five kilometres away, caters for most needs.

Nikki and her formidable team are so service driven that it is commendable and my feelings in my short stay here thus far is “do I really have to leave soon?”

During my stay I observed a troupe of African bush babies. Their coats are silver grey to dark brown in colour. They have small heads with enormous eyes which cannot move in their sockets, but by moving their head they can see directly backwards over their shoulder.

Their usual habitat is in thick foliage 12m off the ground and they principally eat insects. They are very vocal with various grunts and clicks and their long-range territorial call, which sounds like a crying child, is where their name originates from.

During the mating season males fight so viciously that if the loser cannot escape it can be killed. The mother stays with her babies for the first three days or so - they are weaned at six weeks and are independent at two-months. They are very fast and agile and can catch insects mid-air. They dribble urine over their hands and feet to mark their territory as well as pathways and are preyed upon by mostly owls and snakes.

Our famous braai sausage - boerewors - is very prevalent in the Thabazimbi area, and soon after my arrival I was under a phenomenal night sky, fanning the coals in the boma and savouring­ boerie rolls with friends and appropriate beverages.


Boerewors must contain at least 90% meat, principally beef with additions of lamb or pork, the entire fat content should not be more than 30 %, As it does not keep well unrefrigerated, it is also dried to make droëwors, a popular any-time snack. Indecently the current Guinness world record for braaing the longest boerewors was acchieved here in South Africa, and measured 1557.15 metres in length.

Basic boerewors


· 1,5 kg lean beef mince

· 500 grams lamb mince

· 1 kg minced pork belly and neck

· finely chopped garlic

· handfull finely chopped thyme

· 50 grams ground coriander

· 5 grams ground cloves

· 30 grams Khoisan sea salt

· Rainbow pepper

· 10 grams ground all spice

· 5 grams ground nutmeg

· 20 grams brown sugar

· 125ml balsamic vinegar

Thick sausage casings soaked in water


· Mix the minced meats together

· Dry fry the spices

· Add to the mince mixture

· Add the sugar mix through

· Mix in the vinegar

· Drain a casing attach to the sausage funnel and tie a knot on the end.

· Feed the mixture into the machine while controlling the casing

· Do not over fill the casing as it will result in the wors bursting

· After the casing has been filled tie the end into a knot

· Braai over hot coals

· The skin should be unbroken and quite crisp with the sausage not cooked overdone as it becomes dry.

· Serve with usually pap en sous, rolls and potato salad.

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