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Boerewors-Style Sausage and Cowpea Stew
Served over millet, an indigenous grain. | Leila Saffarian

Boerewors-Style Sausage and Cowpea Stew

A warm stew of cowpeas and plant-based boerie sausages flavored with authentic South African boerewors spices.

Sausage and beans are a classic winter comfort food. The indigenous cowpeas are stewed with delicious South African boerewors-style sausages. The stew is served over millet, an indigenous grain that has a delicate nutty flavor. It’s the perfect South African winter warmer.

Boerewors-Style Sausage and Cowpea Stew

By Mokgadi Itsweng

15 mins to prep
1 hour 20 mins to cook
Yields 46


Butternut millet

  • 1 cup 200 grams butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup 200 grams foxtail millet
  • 1 cup 250 milliliters vegetable stock


  • 3 tablespoons 60 milliliters olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon 5 grams fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon 15 grams smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon 5 grams cayenne pepper
  • 1 14.5-ounce 1 410-gram can diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon 5 grams brown or coconut sugar
  • 1 cup 250 grams dried cowpeas or black-eyed peas, soaked and rinsed
  • 1 cup 250 milliliters vegetable stock
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon 15 grams fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon 15 grams fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon 15 grams fresh mint, chopped



    • 1
      In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, cook butternut squash with 2 cups (500 milliliters) of water for about 20 minutes until tender and cooked through.
    • 2
      Drain the butternut and return to the saucepan. Mash them using a potato masher.
    • 3
      Add the foxtail millet and vegetable stock. Cover and allow to steam for about 15 minutes, or until the millet is tender and cooked through. Stir with a fork and keep warm.


    • 1
      Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    • 2
      Place the sausages on the baking sheet and brush with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes, turning once, until lightly browned. Set aside.
    • 3
      Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Fry the onion, garlic, and ginger for 2 minutes. Add the smoked paprika and cayenne pepper and cook for 5 minutes, stirring continuously.
    • 4
      Stir in the tomatoes and sugar and cook for 5 minutes.
    • 5
      Add the cowpeas and vegetable stock. Lower heat to medium heat, cover, and cook for about 35 minutes, until the beans are soft. If using canned beans, cook for 8-10 minutes.
    • 6
      Slice the cooked sausages into bite-sized pieces and add them to the bean stew.
    • 7
      Cook the sausages and bean stew for 15 minutes (or 5-6 minutes if using canned beans) until the stock has been absorbed into the stew. Add up to 1 cup (250 milliliters) hot water, if the stew is too dry. The dry beans need to cook for at least 45 minutes total.
    • 8
      Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
    • 9
      Stir in parsley, cilantro, and mint just before serving with butternut millet.

Chef's Notes

Soak the cowpeas for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight. Substitute with 1 1/4 cups of canned beans.


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