A delightful pot that combines the delicious flavours of oxtail, coated lamb shanks slow cooked in Guinness and Red Wine with vegetables layered on top with a slight chilli bite! Traditional Potjie recipe “meats” Tyler Florence “meats” Gary Rhodes
1 Oxtail – cut into pieces
(cut off excess fat) 1kg Lamb Shank, cut into pieces 1tbsp fennel seeds, 1tbsp peppercorns, 1tbsp coriander seeds
½ cup flour 250g bacon, diced 2 x Dried Chillies
Vegetable Mix for meat cooking
30ml Olive Oil 1 x Leek 2 x Bay Leaves
2 tbsp. Butter 4 x Garlic Cloves (Minced) 1 x Cinnamon Stick
2 x Onions 10 x Peppercorns 2 x Tomatoes (Peeled, chopped)
2 x Carrots (finely sliced) 10 x Cloves 1 x tbsp. Tomato Paste
2 x Celery Stalks 1 x Rosemary Stalk (leaves) 1 x tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
1 X Bouquet Garni 1 x 250ml red wine 1 x Guinness can (Dark Ale)
4 x Blocks Beef Stock
1 x 500g Beans (Cut Up) 1 x 500g small carrots 1 x 500g Small Potatoes
1 x 500g Cauliflower 1 x 250g Mushrooms 1 x Bag Uiertjies
1 x Red Chilli 1 x Green Pepper 1 x Bag Brown Onion Soup
Handful Parsley finely chopped
In small pan combine 1TBSP Fennel Seeds, 1TBSP Coriander Seeds, 1 TBSP Peppercorns, 2 Dried Chillies, and heat it up for 2 minutes – Add 1 TBSP Rosemary to Pestle and Mortar and crush to a powder. Dry all the meat pieces then rub Lamb Shanks pieces in the powder. Then dust all the meat pieces with flour
Add 2 TBSP Olive Oil and Saute the bacon – Remove bacon
Brown the meat well (colour =flavour) and also seals in all the meat flavour – about 15 min per batch of meat. Do oxtail – remove and drain and then brown the shanks and remove.
Add onion (2 x Large Onions), carrots (2 large carrots finely diced), celery (2 sticks celery), 1 x Leek. Let it soften then add 4 cloves minced garlic, peppercorns (10), cloves (10)– brown the garlic about 3 min.
Add 2 peeled and finely chopped tomatoes and 2 TBSP Tomato Paste
Add Bacon and 2 TBSP Balsamic Vinegar
Add 4 Cubes Beef Stock and stir to combine
Add 2 Bay leaves, Bouquet Garni and a Cinnamon Stick
Add Cup of wine and Can Dark Ale slowly and bring to boil and let alcohol reduce (Never let pot cool down)
Add Oxtail – Cook 1 Hour
Add Lamb Shanks – Cook 1.5 Hour
Skim off excess fat
Now pack the veggies as follows – A ring of green beans against the edge of the pot, then a ring of carrots and a ring of cauliflower right in the middle.
Push the mushrooms tightly between the edge of the pot and the green beans and sprinkle the chilli over.
Pack the potatoes (keep them whole) between the beans and the carrots and sprinkle the chilli over.
Pack the uitjies around the cauliflower and sprinkle the soup powder over.
Cover with the lid and allow it to simmer for a further 1.5 hours or until the veggies are soft.
With 15 min to go check on veggies and sprinkle parsley on top
If needed leave top off and increase heat of fire to thicken sauce.
No salt is used as the soup powder and beef stock contains enough salt.
So the test had finally come. Die Engelsman moet ‘n Potjie maak vir sy nuwe familie. So to the net we went and surfed for winning Potjie recipes. Unfortunately all winning recipes involved marinading the food and time was not on my hands so I went for what sounded delicious, a Mexican Chicken Pot. But to add a real twist to the proceedings, I was going to make it a healthy potjie which is where all my recipes will ultimately head as I believe full on that there is no need for white starchy carbs when wholewheat/wild substitutes are always better.
Well 3 hours later, bottle of Johnnie Walker green label down the hatch, it was without doubt one of the tastiest dishes I have ever had. of course I can’t take all the credit. My father in-law and Potjie trainer Oom Piet guided me all the way and first rule is you don’t cook a Potjie according to time. There is a reason no two Potjies are ever the same, because no two fires are ever the same. SO the real trick is all about the heat of the fire and more importantly the heat of the pot, not too hot but a nice bubble simmer is what we looking for.
But after this cook off, I cannot wait to get a new pot on the go this week-end and try out my next recipe. Check out tonights recipe below it is 5 star!!
2Kg chicken pieces, 1 x garlic clove, 4 med onions, 1 chillie, 5 carrots, 6 x med red potatoes, 125 ml wild rice, 200g frozen peas, 15 whole button mushrooms, 2 tomatoes diced, 10ml dried parsley, 5ml lemon pepper, 5ml dried oregano, 1.25ml peri-peri powder, 125ml dry white wine, 30ml sugar, 20ml salt, 15ml curry powder, 1 cube chicken stock
Layer Veggies, Rice as per ingredients order, sprinkle herbs on top, cover and simmer for 15-20 min. Once nice simmer reached, add white wine mixture (White wine/sugar/salt/curry powder/cube chicken stock) and cook until rice cooked, carrots and potatoes soft. On serving gift it good stir,
Chicken pieces (2/person)(Thighs/Drumsticks – Always use Organic), 2 x Garlic Cloves, 2 x Med Onions, 1 x Green Pepper, Tbsp. Olive Oil, 1/2 cup Brandy, handful Sun Dried Tomato, 3 sticks celery, 1 packet bacon (250g), 2 cups dried pasta (preferably shells (skulp pasta)), 500g baby potato, 250g patty pans, 250g sampione (mushrooms), 250g baby marrows, cup grated cheddar cheese
1 can asparagus (410g), 1/2 cup fresh cream (room), 1 pakkie sampion (mushroom) soup, 1 pakkie Cheese sauce, 2 tbsp. spoons lemon pepper, 2 tbsp. mixed herbs, 1 tsp onion salt, 2 cups water.
Start fire with 20 Brickets. Once they start getting nice and hot (grey ash) add pot and let it warm up. Add Olive Oil and brown onions, garlic and green pepper (About 10 min). Add Chicken Pieces and brown chicken (about 10 min). Add half a cup of brandy (let it cook for about 5 min). Add approx 1/2 cup water.
Add ingredients (slight change from what we did), add potatoes first, then follow putting ingredients in order as per recipe.
Sauce is made by combining all sauce ingredients and mixing it very well and then adding to the potjie – No stirring!!
Close the lid and cook for about an hour and a half (or until baby potatoes nice and soft). Add grated Cheese and allow to cook for 5 more minutes. Add Bricketts throughout process to make sure Potjie continues cooking at same temperature (about 15 during the process). Note: Don’t make too hot or else Potjie will burn.
Give it one good stir, and enjoy!!!
1kg Lamb Shank; 1/2 Packet Mushrooms; 500g Baby Potatoes; 500g Baby Carrots; 1 x Onion;1 x Garlic Clove; 1 Packet Soup (Lamb Pot/Any Oxtail Soup); Salt and Pepper; Olive Oil (Additional Veggies can be added Oom Piet Rule 1: Less is more!); Basmati Rice
1. Make small fire with about 20 Briquets
2. With flat bottomed potjie put it on bricks just above hot coals or in case of potjie with legs just stick it on top of coals
3. Heat up oil and then place onions and garlic into hot oil. Cook for about 10 minutes until onions starting to brown and then remove from pot.
4. Add oil, Add Lamb shanks, Brown them for 10 minutes. Add Cup Red Wine and cook with lid on for about 20 minutes. Then add cup of water asnd cook for an additional hour and a half until meat is tender.
Oom Piet Tip No 2: Meat has to be very tender or else Potjie will be a flop
In terms of heat keep adding a few briqets to keep fire hot and meat simmering nicely (Listen for bubbles!)
5. Add carrots followed by potatoes. Add salt and pepper and simmer for 30-35 minutes with lid on.
6. Also add cooked onions and garlic (Easily forgotten while beers are flowing!)
7. Add packet mushrooms followed by gravy powder and just let it lie on top of Potjie mixture. Put lid back on and simmer for about 15 minutes.
8. At this time get the Basmati rice going, eating time is near!
9. After 15 minutes, give the Potjie a good stir to get all those flavours working together. Some Potjie chefs may disagree with the stir but Oom Piet swears by the final stir!
10. And there you have it, an absolutely delicious Lamb Shank(jie). Give it a go and let us know your thoughts and learnings. As any Potjie chef will tell you there is no right or wrong recipe but for us “Engelsman” we need some guidance!
Unless we just got a really bad pot from the Organic Store in Dubai, don’t listen to people when they say it takes few hours of cooking leafy vegetables and pot will be ready. After 48 hours of cooking vegetables, pork belly, salt and oil several times (the last one resulting in a fire in the pot!) we thought we were ready.
The “Italian” barbeque was brought out, fire was made, couple of trips to the park to find some bricks to put our flat bottom potjie on and the excitement was building for our debut Potjie in the desert of Dubai.
Veggies were then cut up and onions and garlic put into the pot and alas, the onions went black!!!
Was this it, the pot was a dud. But then we thought back to the days of the Voortrekker and they would never have given up that easily so back to the sink we went for round 33 of cleaning (No chemical was spared in the cleaning process from Clorox to Jik to Sunlight) and the saying many hands make light work was put to the test with everyone having a scrub.
And so the “onion test” was done again, this time not too bad so after 1l of vinegar was added to the pot, and by the time the third onion hit the pot (followed by the 6th beer in the belly) we said to the hell with it and lets get on with the cooking. What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger they say.
What followed was an unbelievably fun evening with Pieter the Potjie master guiding me through every step of the way and adding a little trick here and there. The recipe which will be posted under the recipe section (with pic by pic analysis) was simple yet unbelievable delicious (Slightly darker than expected:), but no doubt the art of slow cooking in a Potjie Pot is a skill every aspiring cook should learn. From a social aspect is puts the good old Braai or BBQ for the rest of you to shame. Where in those cases it is a great social occasion for the boys to sit around a fire and braai some meat which can take the good part of only half an hour, with a Potjie it is up to 4 hours of great banter with everyone included in the mix and something we will be doing on a regular occasion going forward.
Rating for the Lamb Shank(jie)
Banter: 5/5 Taste 4/5 Presentation3/5 (1st time with Potjie Pot so food slightly coloured) Nutrition (3.2/5) – Only because Lamb Shanks slightly fatty but all great nutritious food.