Brawn with caraway seed vetkoek

Brawn with caraway seed vetkoek

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  • 6
  • Easy
  • Dairy free
  • 10 minutes, plus overnight setting time
  • 2 1⁄2 hours
  • Woolworths Spier Private Collection Chenin Blanc

I learned a lot of the fancy food things I know from my late dad, and when my mom told me about his fantastic brawn recipe, I knew I had to recreate it in his honour. The natural gelatine found in pork trotters sets the brawn perfectly and the shredded pork shank adds meatiness. The best way mom and I eat brawn is by melting a sliver of it on a hot vetkoek with nothing else. Here's my dad's brawn caraway seed vetkoek recipe:


  • 500 g pork trotters
  • 500 g bone-in pork shank
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 T yellow mustard seeds
  • 10 g fresh dill, roughly chopped
  • sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • mustard, for serving
  • pickles, for serving
  • For the caraway vetkoek:
  • 600 g cake flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 60 g sugar
  • 2 t instant dried yeast
  • 1 T caraway seeds, toasted
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 1 T salt
  • 1 litre warm water
  • 1 litre sunflower oil, for deep-frying

Cooking Instructions

1. To make the brawn, place the trotters, pork shank, bay leaf and mustard seeds in a large saucepan and top with enough water to cover the meat. Boil over a medium heat for 21⁄2 hours, or until the meat is falling off the bone. Allow to cool.

2. Remove the bay leaf. Using gloves, carefully remove the bones and cartilage from the meat. Chop the meat into small chunks and combine with a small amount of the cooking liquid and the dill. Line a 20 cm loaf tin with clingwrap, then tightly pack the meat into the tin and cover. Chill overnight. Once set, slice thinly and serve with the hot vetkoek, pickles and mustard.

3. To make the vetkoek, combine all the dry ingredients. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and gradually stir in the warm water using clean hands, until a dough begins to form. Knead well until the dough is smooth and pliable, then allow to prove in the bowl, covered with a clean tea towel, for 30–40 minutes until the dough has doubled in size.

4. Roll the dough into balls. Place the vetkoek on a floured surface and allow to rise for 10 minutes.

5. Heat the oil in a deep, wide pan. To test the temperature of the oil, drop a small piece of dough into the oil. If it floats to the surface and the oil bubbles, it’s ready. Gently drop the vetkoek into the oil and cook for 5–8 minutes, turning using a slotted spoon. Drain on kitchen paper until ready to serve.

Find more TASTE Christmas recipes here.

Photographs: Toby Murphy
Production and Recipes: Khanya Mzongwana
Food Assistant: Kate Ferreira

Khanya Mzongwana Recipe by: Khanya Mzongwana
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If you're anything like our deputy food editor Khanya Mzongwana, you're obsessed with uniqueness and food with feeling. Cook her family-tested favourites, midweek winners and her mouth-wateringly fresh takes on plant-based eating.

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