Sausage and chopped smoor on toasted sourdough bread
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Braai – Reuben on Fire

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Braai – Reuben on Fire

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Sausage and chopped smoor on toasted sourdough bread

Recipe By Reuben Riffel
Photographs By Craig Fraser

Ingredients

1 packet thick boerewors
4 slices prosciutto, grilled until crispy
4 two-centimetre-thick slices sourdough, toasted on a grid
For the chopped smoor:
2 red onions, peeled and sliced in half widthwise
2 tsp salt
6 tsp brown sugar
4 sprigs thyme
4 tomatoes, grilled until soft, peeled and chopped
2 large black mushrooms, grilled until soft and chopped
1 green pepper, grilled until soft, deseeded and chopped
2 tsp Tabasco
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper

When we came out from working for my grandfather in The Tuin in the afternoons, we would get my mum’s smoored onions with sliced potato on bread. So simple, but so delicious. Smoor and sausage is a marriage made in braai heaven. People incorrectly assume that a good smoor is made by the tomato but it is, in fact, the onion when slow-cooked out of shape that gives you the right unctuous consistency.

What we’re doing here is cooking it really slowly in tin foil on the braai. Smoor is not just a dish, but a cooking process – basically slow braising – and for me the word is perfect. Think of it as flattening something slowly with heat. For this recipe I used pork sausage but you could treat boerewors the same way. You will get plenty of crunch from the prosciutto, so don’t toast the rolls for too long because for the smoor to be absorbed perfectly into the roll, the interior needs to stay fluffy.

Cooking Instructions

  1. Place the onions on a double layer of 30cm-long foil. Season evenly with salt and two teaspoons brown sugar. Add the thyme, close the foil packet and cook on a grid over medium-low heat for 30 to 45 minutes to allow the onion to caramelise.
  2. Remove the onion, chop roughly and place back in the foil packet, along with the tomatoes, mushroom and green pepper. Cook for two to four minutes, then close the packet and cook for another five minutes.
  3. Add the Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, four teaspoons brown sugar, smoked paprika, salt and pepper and cook for another three to five minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. Cook the boerewors on a grid over medium heat for eight to 10 minutes
    or until evenly cooked.
  5. Serve the toasted bread layered with smoor, then wors. Sprinkle
    with prosciutto.

About the Author

There can be no doubt about the fact that Reuben Riffel is one of South Africa’s most well-known and acclaimed chefs. With no less than five restaurants in his stable (Reuben’s in Franschhoek, Reuben’s at the Robertson Small Hotel, Reuben’s at the One & Only in Cape Town, Reuben’s at Abalone House in Paternoster and finally Racine in Franschhoek), Reuben has also become a household name as the face of Robertsons Herbs & Spices and his recent role as a MasterChef South Africa judge. This award-winning chef is also father to four cookbooks: Reuben Cooks: Food is Time Travel, Reuben Cooks Local (also published by Quivertree and winner of Best Chef’s Cookbook and photography respectively at the World Gourmand Awards in 2009 and 2012), Braai: Reuben on Fire (published by Quivertree and second-place winner of the Sunday Times Cook Book of the Year award 2014) and finally Reuben at Home. Key to Reuben’s success is his unsurpassed ability to marry South African and international cuisines via an eclectic but unpretentious approach, using only the best seasonal ingredients.

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