• Beef and blood boerewors with pap and sheba (China Squirrel)Source: China Squirrel

This beloved African staple of blood sausage is the equivalent of bangers 'n' mash. Pap is similar to polenta but made from ground maize, while sheba is a rich tomato and onion-based sauce.






Skill level

Average: 4.4 (7 votes)


Boerewors (African sausages)

  • 50 g bacon fat or lard
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 large piece ginger
  • 1 tbsp Moroccan spice 
  • sunflower oil
  • 2 red onions, finely chopped
  • 1 kg minced beef 
  • 5 ml pig’s blood (see Note)
  • sausage casings (see Note), soaked in cold water and rinsed
  • ½ green capsicum, finely chopped
  • 1 small red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 handful coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil



  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tbsp peri peri spice
  • 2 tomatoes, seeds removed, thinly sliced
  • ½ long red chilli, seeds removed, thinly sliced
  • ½ long green chilli, seeds removed, thinly sliced
  • ½ green capsicum, seeds removed, thinly sliced
  • 25 ml coconut cream
  • finely chopped coriander leaves, to garnish



  • 500 ml (2 cups) water
  • 1½ cups maize meal (see Note)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


For the African sausages, heat the bacon fat in a small frying pan over low-medium heat, add the Moroccan spice, garlic and ginger and cook gently until the fat is melted (about 10 minutes), then pour into a blender and blend to a paste.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, add the onion and cook until softened. Add the mince and cook, stirring to break up the clumps, until starting to brown.

Add the paste from the blender, season with salt and pepper, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated and the mince is dry. Spread over a tray and place in the fridge until completely cool (about 30 minutes).

Add the pig’s blood to the cooled mince – it will help hold the mixture together. Add the capsicum, coriander and chilli and combine well.

Prepare a sausage machine by attaching on one end of the sausage casing. If you don’t have sausage machine, fill a piping bag fitted with a small nozzle two-thirds full with the sausage mixture. Attach one end of the sausage casings to the piping bag. Pipe the mixture into the sausage casings. You can make individual sausages, linked sausages or one long sausage. Whichever length you choose, tie off both ends, making sure to leave enough space for the sausage to expand. 

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over high heat, add the sausages, in batches, and cook, turning continuously to avoid burning, until browned all over. Reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and cook for 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside for 2 minutes before serving with the sheba and pap on the side.

For the sheba, heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, add the onion and cook until softened. Add the spices and tomato and cook for 10 minutes or until the tomato is very soft. Add the chillies and capsicum and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the coconut cream and simmer for 4 minutes. Garnish with the coriander to serve.

For the pap, bring the water to boil in a large saucepan, reduce the heat to medium-low, add the salt and 1 cup of the maize meal, and stir until combined and thickened. Increase the heat to high and slowly add the remaining maize meal while vigorously mashing the mixture for 6-8 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Uncover, add the butter and lemon juice and mix well, making sure the are no lumps. Spoon the pap into a serving bowl or shape as desired onto serving plates. 


Cook's notes

• Pig's blood and sausage casings need to be ordered in advance from your butcher.  

• Maize meal is coarsely ground white corn (similar to Italian polenta, which is ground yellow corn), available online, and from African and specialist grocers. I prefer to use Iwisa brand. 


Photography, styling and food preparation by China Squirrel


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