RECIPE: Sheep’s Head (Smiley) Cooked Gugulethu Style



When I started the blog one of the first recipes featured was Amarhewu/Mageu.  Honestly speaking I had no idea how it was prepared.  I relied on the advice of knowledgeable people around me.  One of those people was a good friend, Pasi, a navy officer from Gugulethu. Pasi is a good friend of mine and a strong township woman.  The woman can talk, she is really not stingy with information.  I asked her to cook a sheep head for me and being the good friend she obliged.


Sheep's Head Gugulethu Style
Pasi and Thuli

Personally, I’ve never cooked sheep head before but from my experience of watching people cook it, it’s always been boiled until soft and sticky.  Seasoning is very minimal.  What makes a smiley addictive is the textures from the different parts of the meat, that is, the ears are crunchy etc.

A couple of years ago, a friend and I visited an Afrikaaner guy and he offered us a sheep head prepared in an oven.  It was delicious.  We downed it with a red wine.  Oh boy! That was such a great experience!

Pasi cooked her sheep head using both methods and served it with pap, fried cabbage and gravy.   If you get to try out the recipe, please enjoy!  It was prepared with so much love and dedication!


Sheep's Head Gugulethu Style
Sheep’s Head


Pasi’s Sheep Head Recipe

1 sheep head

Salt/ stock powder or cube

Baberque spice

Oil for rubbing


  1. Boil sheep’s head in salty water or water with stock cube until soft.
  2. When soft, take out of the cooking water, rub with barbeque spice and a little bit of oil.
  3. Put in preheated oven and cook at 170۫C for 15 minutes.
  4. It will be golden brown and crispy when ready to serve.
  5. Serve with pap, veggies and some gravy.
  6. For Gravy:  Sauté onion in a little oil.
  7. When is turning brown you mix brown onion soup mix with water (mix according to instructions on pack) and add to the onion.


About Author


Thuli Gogela is a Food Technologist with 8 years of experience developing products in food manufacturing. She is dedicated to discovering wholesome traditional dishes and recipes with a distinctive taste from different parts of the African continent. Thuli is well known for her food blog, Mzansi Style Cuisine which was established in 2010. She saw a gap in the traditional food market that people were hungry for. From there, it didn’t take long to build her brand. In 2013, she started writing a recipe column for the Cape Times for and has collaborated with some of the biggest brands in South Africa namely, Knorr, Nedeburg Wines, First Choice and Spekko rice. Not only does Thuli feature traditional African dishes, she’s also open to developing recipes, food consultations and brand collaborations.

Comment ( 1 )

  • Mmabatho

    Okay I am going to try this one but I wonder where you cut or does it come cut; it just looks like a great New Year’s Day meal after church; when I am resolving to do better in 2013.

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