I describe making a potjie (prounounced as
poy-key) as making memories with good friends, its a one pot slow cook for 4 to 5 hours and tastes amazing! You can use any ingredience and can be described as looking like a stew.
This was my shopping list, Im forgetful and when I want to make this again will need a point of reference. I found all of these ingredience at Newworld. Unfortunaterly fresh vegetables in New Zealand are crazy expensive so this was a bit of a treat for us :)
- 1.5kg of oxtail
- Potatoes, keep the skin and slice up into quarters (dont make them too small else they disintegrate)
- Baby Potatoes work better as you dont have to chop them and they less likely to disintegrate
- 3 Onions (Chopped, I threw in some shallots too)
- Greenbeans (Choped in half with the ends cut off)
- 4 Tomatoes (Chopped)
- Patty pans (I could not find these so substituted with baby marrows)
- Celery (Chopped)
- 6 Carrots (Chopped)
- Punnet of mushrooms (Chopped)
- 2 bay leaves (Whole, you fish these out at the end as they are just for taste)
- Garlic (I just used table spoon of pre chopped from Countdown)
- Olive oil for when browing the meat
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup of red wine or port
- 1 cup of beef stock
- Salt, peper and what ever spice you like
- Cornstarch, not always needed but helps with thickening if needed
Ask 10 different people for their opinion on potjie and you will likely get 10 different ideas, find what works for you and experiment. Make memories :)
This is what worked for me for my first potjie, I had help from a pro but you will be fine!
Put the pot on high heat, throw in a dash of olive oil and brown the oxtail. Do half at a time so cook about 750 gramms so that it browns nicely.
Remove the oxtail from the pot and put on a thing layer of flour, you dont have to measure and make it perfect. This is potjie so go by feel and what looks nice for you.
Once all the oxtail is browned keep it aside. Use the potjie pot to brown the onions, garlic, celery and carrots. Use a medium heat.
Add back the oxtail and your cups of water, red wine and beef stock. Stir a little but not too much, the meat will mash things quickly.
Add the potatoes, greenbeans, tomatoes, marrows, mushrooms and stir a little. Remember the more your stir the more you will mash the ingredience.
The idea is to have layers, meat at the bottom with vedge floating above.
Generously add your spices, bay leaves, salt and peper. With the lid on and the pot nicely simmering your should be able to smell the spice aroma near the lid. If you cannot smell your spices you have not added enough - be like a generous lover ❤️
Pop on the lid and let simmer for 4 hours, occasionally check the pot to make sure it is not drying out. You can do this by placing a wooden spoon handle to your closed inner ear and placing the spoon end on the corner of the pots lid - you will be able to hear the simmer without opening the lid and loosing the heat. If it is drying out add water and spice as needed.
Towards the end check how thick the sauce is, if needs be thicken with a little cornstarch mixed with water. This step is an art in its own, if you smash it well done - you are a true cook :)
We served with white rice.
Dumplings are a great addition to your meal, think of them as bread balls cooked with your potjie.
- 1 cup flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 beaten egg
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 tbsp vedgetable oil
Combine the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl. In a measuring cup beat together milk, egg and oil.
Stir the liquid mixture into the flour mixture. You’ll end up with very thick batter. It shold be very sticky.
Drop the batter by the spoonful directly on top of the potjie.
Pop on the lid and leave to cook for 20 minutes until they are puffed up and dry looking ontop.