Recipe/ Southern African Food

Easy Seswaa Recipe

A plate of Seswaa


Today you will get the recipe for a very traditional dish from Botswana which I had been dying to make at the time I recorded this video. I just don’t know why I didn’t have the guts to make it before. It was probably because seswaa is a dish which holds so much significance during times of great community celebrations such as weddings or independence day, known as Boipuso. But on this day I rose up to the occasion and dove right into making this dish they best way I could with the tools in my kitchen.

For those who do not know, seswaa is considered the national dish of Botswana. It is a slow cooked then shredded meat dish and is loved by many both locally and the world over. The first time I made it, I went for something safe and selected cuts for slow cooking from my local butcher. However, as I continued to experiment with my recipe over the years, I realised that the best cuts are those which still have the bone on it. Following this recipe means you will be able to make this dish in your own kitchen without having to make it in a traditional 3 legged pot over a huge campfire.


  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


  • 1 kg slow cooking beef (beef chuck on the bone)
  • 1 whole onion (optional)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper (optional)
  • Water (enough to just cover the meat)


  1. Pre heat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Cut the meat into large chunks then brown in a dish suitable for slow cooking in the oven such as a cast iron casserole dish.
  2. Add the whole peeled onion, salt, cracked black pepper, water and bay leaves. Bring to the boil then cover and place into the oven for 4 hours.
  3. After 4 hours, remove from oven and place onto the stove burner in order to cook off most of the remaining liquid. Use a wooden spoon to pound or mash up the meat, the meat should fall apart quite easily. and will appear shredded. You may brown the meat further if desired.
  4. Check seasoning then serve with polenta or the more traditional thick cornmeal porridge known as pap or sadza, and a side of green vegetables.

Did you like this recipe? Follow me @myburntorange on Instagram for my latest recipe inspirations.

Have a look at my video for a full description of the step.


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  • Reply
    Bibi Van Heerden
    July 6, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    Sounds lovely, Freda – a bit like the way I make pulled beef!

    • Reply
      July 8, 2016 at 11:08 am


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