Potjiekos Recipes

Taking care of your Potjie

This is me, enjoying a curry potjie-for-one at the Train Restaurant in Sabie! Have your own potjie mear when you pass through Sabie next time!

Potjie Index

Lamb Neck and Cabbage Potjie
Oxtail Potjie
All-In-One Pot
Paella Potjie
Curry Neck of Mutton Potjie
Chicken Potjie
Dambie - dumplings in a potjie  
Beef and Beer Potjie  
Hot Mutton Curry Potjie  
Ostrich Potjie
Venison Potjie (Wildspotjie)
Bully beef and cabbage potjie
Oxtail and banana potjie New
Mutton Potjie New
Venison potjie with dumplings New
Shank and potato potjie New
Chicken in cream sauce pot New
Yellow rice and chicken potjie New

Lamb Neck and Cabbage Potjie

This requires some explanation first, a few years ago the "Potjie" craze took over in South Africa as an alternative to the traditional BBQ. A "Potjie" is a 3 legged round bottomed cast iron pot where you put your ingredients in, and it simmers merrily over coals while everyone sits around it chatting away. and sipping you know what.. It's much more sociable than a BBQ where the men usually gather round the fire and the women are usually busy in the kitchen, but don't get me wrong, this is strictly a male domain and the women are only required to do the side dishes. Everyone usually has his own "secret" ingredients and "Potjie" competitions are very popular at fairs. I am not sure if you can buy "Potjies" outside of South Africa, but any large pot with a thick base and a lid should do.....

2 tbs cooking oil
2 large onions, chopped
14 lamb neck chops
250g bacon, diced
16 small potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 small cabbage, cut in 8 pieces
dash of lemon juice with 500ml water
dash of mixed herbs
salt and black pepper to taste


1. Heat the oil in a medium-size potjie, then fry the onions, bacon and lamb chops for about ˝ hour, stirring from time to time. Cover with lid and leave to cook for about 45 minutes.
2. Open pot, stir, then add layer of potatoes, finishing off with the cabbage. Add the water/lemon juice mixture, herbs and spices. (Don't stir yet)
3. Cover with lid and cook for about another 2 hours slowly over medium coals ; check if there's enough water after a while, and add more if necessary.
4. Stir through  ; the meat should fall off the bones.
5. Serve with brown rice and sweet mashed cinnamon pumpkin.

Oxtail Potjie - probably the tastiest potjie recipe

500g Oxtails cut 2 inches thick pieces
10 slices Bacon cut in 1 inch pieces
˝ cup Flour seasoned with salt and pepper
1 litre beef stock
1 can tomato paste
1 Bay leaf
6 black peppercorns
1 bouquet garni
6 large leeks, chopped coarsely
2 large onions, chopped coarsely
6 large carrots, chopped coarsely
20 button mushrooms
1 cup red wine
˝ cup sherry
˝ cup cream
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons crushed garlic


1. Dry oxtails with paper towel.
2. Put seasoned flour in a Ziplock bag, then add the Oxtail and shake to coat with flour.
3. Heat butter and olive oil and sauté bacon pieces.
4. Remove bacon and brown Oxtail in resulting fat, remove and drain.
5. Finely dice 4 of the carrots. Coarsely chop the onions and the leeks.
6. Add the finely diced carrots, leeks, onions and sauté until softened
7. Add Oxtail, bacon, bouquet garni, bay leaf, peppercorns, garlic, tomato sauce, red wine, sherry.
8. Bring slowly to a boil and cook slowly for 3 - 4 hours.
9. 1 hour before serving cut the remaining carrots into 1 inch pieces, add them and mushrooms and continue cooking slowly.
10. Just prior to serving, add cream and stir in.
11. If you want to thicken the sauce mix some cornstarch with the cream before adding.

Comments: Your Oxtail Potjie tastes devine.(Konings-kos)

All-In-One Pot

750g bolo or boneless chuck of beef
1 pig's trotter
30ml cooking oil
2 onions, sliced
10ml salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
200g uncooked pearl wheat
4 tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
250ml dry white wine
250ml meat stock
2 leeks, sliced
5 baby marrows, sliced


Cut the bolo or chuck into cubes and saw the trotter into portions. Heat the cooking oil in a potjie and brown the meat. Add the onion and fry until it is translucent. Season with salt and pepper and add the pearl wheat and tomatoes. Heat the wine and meat stock together in a small pan over the fire, then pour the liquid into the potjie and cover with the lid. Let the meat simmer over low coals for 3-4 hours, until it is tender. Layer the leeks and baby marrows on top and simmer for another 20 minutes.
Serves 6-8

Paella Potjie

60 ml cooking oil
3 red sweet peppers (seeded and cut in strips) or a 400g tin pimento
1 large onion, chopped
500 g pork, cubed
5 chicken thighs, halved
1 litre boiling water
5 ml saffron
4 bay leaves
2 chicken stock cubes
1 kg kingklip fillets, cut in strips
400 g frozen prawns
500 g uncooked rice
salt and pepper to taste
250 g frozen green peas
juice of 1 lemon

Heat the oil in the pot. Lightly brown the pepper, onion, pork and chicken. Cover and simmer slowly for an hour or until the meat is nearly done.
Add the saffron, bay leaves and chicken stock cubes to the boiling water and set aside.
Place the fish and prawns on top of the meat, followed by the rice and peas. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the saffron water little by little as the rice boils dry. Simmer the potjie gently until the rice and peas are done and all the liquid has nearly boiled away. Paella should be loose and the rice should not be soggy.
Add the lemon juice just before serving and stir well.

Curry Neck of Mutton Potjie

30 ml cooking oil
salt and pepper to taste
1.5 kg neck of mutton, cut into slices
3 medium onions, chopped
250 ml water
500 g whole baby carrots, peeled
500 g whole baby potatoes, peeled
20 ml sugar
10 ml mild curry powder
5 ml turmeric
125 ml milk

Heat the oil in the pot. Season the meat with salt and pepper and brown a few pieces at a time. Remove and set aside. Fry the onions until tender. Return the meat to the pot. Cover the meat with water, replace lid and simmer for 1 hour.
Add the carrots and potatoes and simmer for approximately 30 minutes. 
Mix the sugar, curry powder andturmeric with the milk and add. Simmer for another 15 minutes and gently stir through once. Add more water if the potjie becomes too dry and simmer for another 15 minutes.

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Chicken Potjie

45 ml cooking oil
1 kg chicken thighs
10 ml salt
4 bay leaves
pinch dried thyme
4 black pepper corns
pinch ground allspice
45 ml chutney
500 ml carrots, peeled and sliced
6 large potatoes, peeled and sliced
500 g whole button mushrooms
125 ml boiling water
1 chicken stock cube

Heat the oil in the pot. Sprinkle the thighs with salt and fry the chicken, a few pieces at a time, until golden brown. Add the herbs, spices and chutney. Arrange the carrots, potatoes and mushrooms in layers on top of the chicken. Dissolve the stock cube in the water and add it to the potjie. Replace the lid and simmer for approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes. Add water if the potjie becomes too dry.

Dambie ( the Tswana name for "dumplings")
If you can make dumplings with stew, why not with potjiekos?
sample this true African cuisine.

To cover a saucy meat stew or potjiekos:
2 cups bread flour
1 tsp instant dry yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water

Sift the dry ingredients together into a deep bowl. Add the egg and lukewarm water and mix well for about 5 minutes, till it forms a very soft , sticky dough, rather approaching a thick batter. Alternatively you can whip it up using a food processor.
Let dough rise for 2 hours covered. Scoop the frothy, soft dough onto the stew and quickly stroke it to spread evenly on top.
Shut the lid and do not lift till ready, about 30 minutes, or else it may implode into a chewy mess. Then insert a skewer into the dumpling, if it comes out clean it is cooked.

Beef and Beer Potjie

15 ml cake flour
5 ml paprika
1 kg beef fillet, cubed
15 ml butter
15 ml cooking oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
15 ml white sugar
8 green beans, sliced
4 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
5 ml mixed dried herbs or marjoram
375 ml beer
250 ml beef stock
1 packet tomato soup powder
1 bay leaf
15 ml vinegar
10 ml cornflour
salt and pepper to taste

Combine the paprika and flour and place in a plastic bag. Add the meat cubes and shake well to coat the meat. Melt the butter and oil in the pot and brown the meat over medium hot coals. Remove and set aside. Fry the onions and sugar, stirring now and then until the onions are tender. Add the beans, carrots and garlic and simmer for 5 minutes.
Return the meat to the pot and stir in the herbs, beer, stock, soup powder and bay leaf. replace the lid and simmer till the meat is tender, approx 45 minutes to 1 hour. Stir occasionally, using a wooden spoon.
Mix the vinegar and cornflour and stir in. Simmer until the gravy has thickened and season with salt and pepper.

Hot Mutton Curry Potjie

This is for people like me who like their curry hot, if you prefer it a bit weaker, reduce the curry powder to 15 ml.

2 kg mutton chops
salt and pepper to taste
45 ml cooking oil
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
250 g rindless breakfast bacon, chopped
3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
250 ml uncooked rice
250 ml dried apricots, soaked in water for 1 hour and drained
250 ml water
1 tin (410 g) mealie kernels, drained
1 tin, (410 g) peas, drained
250 ml chutney
20 ml strong curry powder
5 ml turmeric
3 ml coriander
3 ml ground nutmeg

Heat the oil in the pot. Season the meat with salt and pepper and in the open pot brown a few pieces at a time on both sides. Remove the meat and set aside. Fry the onions until tender. Return the meat to the pot with the onions. Arrange the bacon, potatoes, rice and apricots in layers on top of the meat. Add the water. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Add more water if the potjie boils dry. 
Add the mealies and peas.
Mix the chutney, curry, turmeric, coriander and nutmeg well. Add the mixture to the potjie. Cover and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes.

Serve with sliced banana, finely chopped onion and tomato and finely grated coconut.

Ostrich Potjie

Use a #3 potjie.

30 ml cooking oil
1.5 kg ostrich neck slices
4 leeks, sliced
2 fat cloves garlic, crushed
5 ml dried or 1 sprig fresh rosemary
250 g brown mushrooms, sliced
30 ml boiled green peppercorns, bruised
75 ml brandy
50 ml dry sherry
375 ml dry red wine or 1/2 red wine 1/2 chicken stock
30 ml lemon juice
15 fresh pickling onions, peeled
10 small whole carrots
8 small, peeled potatoes or unpeeled new potatoes scrubbed clean
1 x 300 g packet creamed spinach and mushrooms, thawed. (Can be replaced with 250 g cooked, chopped and flavoured spinach mixed with 125 ml sour cream. Flavour the spinach with some of the folowing: bacon, ham, cheese, nutmeg and lemon juice)
15 ml cake flour
a little milk
pinch nutmeg
salt to taste

Heat the oil in the pot and brown the meat a little at a time. Remove and set aside. Fry the leeks, garlic, rosemary, mushrooms and peppercorns in the same pot. Return the meat to the pot. Heat the brandy slightly, pour over the meat, and ignite. Add the heated sherry, red wine and lemon juice once the flames have died down. Cover with the lid, reduce the heat and simmer for 2 1/2 hours or till the meat is almost tender.
Layer the vegetables, except the spinach, on top of the meat, cover, and simmer for a further 45 to 50 minutes. Mix the spinach mixture with a paste of cake flour and milk and spoon carefully over the food in the pot. Season with nutmeg and salt, cover and simmer for a further 15 minutes.

Venison Potjie (Wildspotjie)

125 ml sunflower oil
4 medium carrots, sliced
2 medium onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
10 ml chopped fresh thyme
1 kg venison, cubed
250 g rindless bacon, chopped
500 ml port or dry red wine
6 medium potatoes, sliced

Heat the oil in a pot and sauté the carrots, onions and garlic for about 5 minutes. Add the thyme, meat, bacon and port and simmer, covered, for 3 hours. Add the potatoes and simmer for a further 30 to 45 minutes.

Bully beef and cabbage potjie

20 ml oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 baby cabbages, finely chopped
salt and black pepper to taste
600 g bully beef, cut into small cubes
250 g shell noodles, cooked and drained

Heat the oil in a hot, flat, cast-iron pot and sauté the onion until glossy. Add the cabbage and sauté until the cabbage softens. Season to taste and add the bully beef cubes. Use a fork to mash a few of the cubes. Stir and heat over low heat until warmed through. Add the noodles, simmer until warm and serve. Serves 4.

Oxtail and Banana Potjie

A size 3 Potjie Pot is recommended.


1 Large oxtail, cut into pieces
3 Medium onions, finely sliced
2 Ripe bananas, sliced
5 Medium carrots, cut into strips
12 Baby potatoes
250g Button mushrooms
1 Large tomato, sliced
5ml Chopped parsely
10 Whole uitjies
2 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
30ml Butter
0.5 Red chilli, finely chopped
5 Whole cloves (kruinaeltjies)
5ml Mixed herbs
2 Bay leaves
500ml Warm water
Salt and pepper to taste

The sauce
62ml Brown vinegar
20ml Tomato sauce,
20ml Chutney
20ml Honey
10ml Medium curry powder

Coat the Pot with the butter and heat.
Braai the meat for about 15 minutes
Add the onions, garlic, chilli, cloves, herbs, bay leaves, salt and pepper and braai for a further 15 minutes.(If the Pot gets too dry, add some warm water)
Now add the 500ml warm water, cover with the lid and allow the Potjie to simmer for about 2 hours
In the meantime, mix the ingredients of the sauce and put one side.
After 2 hours, pack the bananas on top of the meat and layer the veggies as they appear in the recipe
Sprinkle the parsley on top, and then layer the onions and allow the Potjie to simmer for 1 hour
Add the sauce and allow to simmer for a further 30 minutes

Mutton Potjie

45 ml oil
1 kg mutton chops
12 baby onions peeled
1 bunch spring onions, sliced
4 carrots, sliced
10 ml mixed dried herbs
250 ml dry white wine
12 baby potatoes, peeled
250 ml beef stock
65 ml flour

Heat oil in a large heavy based saucepan or drie-voet, fry mutton until browned, season to taste while frying, remove and keep warm.
Add flour to remaining fat in saucepan, making a roux. Add the beef stock to make a sauce and pour over the chops.

Arrange potatoes, baby onions, spring onions and carrots in layers over the meat, sprinkle with herbs and pour white wine over.
Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer gently for about 1 hour.

Venison Potjiekos:
2 kg (± 4˝ pounds) deboned venison, cut into small blocks
(kudu, springbok or impala is excellent)
1 kg (± 2.2 pounds) beef shin (shank, knuckle-bone), cut into slices
75 ml (5 tablespoons) cake-flour
15 ml (1 tablespoon) salt
Freshly ground black pepper (to your taste)
3 ml (a pinch) graded nut
1 can (± 400 ml) mushroom soup
1 litre (4 cups) apple juice
250 ml (1 cup) dry white wine
4 potatoes, cut into small blocks
5 carrots, sliced
4 onions, sliced
1 butternut squash, sliced
4 peeled tomatoes, coarsely chopped

360 g (750 ml/3 cups) self-raising flour
7 ml (˝ tea spoon) salt
375 ml (1˝ cups) milk

Barbecue (braai) meat in a heated "potjie" until brown.
Add cake-flour, soup and flavouring substances .
Heat the apple juice and wine in a small pan and pour it over the meat.
Put on the lid and simmer for 3-4 hours,
put the vegetables in layers on top of the meat,
put on the lid and simmer for another half an hour.
In the mean time, mix all the ingredients for the dumplings together to form a soft dough, scoop the dough on top of the vegetables and simmer for another half an hour.

Shank and potato potjie

1.50 kg lamb shanks
5 ml salt
5 ml black pepper
1 onion, finely sliced
15 ml olive oil
15 ml balsamic vinegar
5 ml lemon and herb spice
5 ml indian potjiekos spices
3 tomatoes, peeled and diced
50 ml boiling water or stock
500 g baby potatoes, in jackets or peeled
10 baby marrows, sliced
10 patty pans, halved
500 g fresh mushrooms, halved or sliced

Season the shanks lightly with salt and pepper and brown a few at a time in a heated pot until browned all over.
Remove the shanks and sauté the onion in a little olive oil until soft.
Add the vinegar and stir through. Add all the spices and stir-fry lightly. Add the tomatoes and mix through.
Return the shanks to the pot, lower the heat, add a little boiling water or stock and simmer until the shanks are done.
Add the baby potatoes after simmering for half an hour.
Simmer until the potatoes are almost soft and add the rest of the vegetables and heat until they're just done but still crisp.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and another sprinkle of balsamic vinegar if you like.


6 Chicken Breasts
Chicken Spice to Taste
250g Rindless Bacon, Cubed
4 Medium Onions, Diced
60ml Smooth Apricot Jam
100ml Water
15ml Worcestershire Sauce
12 Baby Onions, Peeled
10 Baby Potatoes, Peeled
750ml Frozen Mixed Vegetables
300g Mushrooms, Sliced
Aromat to Taste
500ml Fresh Cream or 250ml Cream + 250ml Milk
1 Pkt Oxtail Soup
1 Pkt Onion Soup

Spice the chicken with the chicken spices
Heat the oil in a large pot and fry the bacon for about 5 minutes
Add the onions and apricot jam, and cook until soft
Add the chicken, worcestershire sauce and water, cover and allow to simmer for 15 minutes
Add the baby onions and baby potatoes, and simmer for 10 minutes
Add the vegies and mushrooms
Sprinkle with aromat, cover, and allow to simmer for 30 minutes
Mix the soup powder with the cream, and add to the pot
Cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes

Yellow rice and chicken potjie

500 g chicken pieces (drumsticks and thighs)
30 ml oil
1 onion, chopped
20 ml mild curry powder
5 ml turmeric
5 ml finely chopped coriander
5 ml ground cumin (jeers)
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole cardamom seeds (optional)
2 whole cloves
250 ml raw rice
750 ml lukewarm chicken stock
3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Remove excess skin and fat from the chicken (all the skin can be removed if preferred). Brown the chicken, skin side down, in a little heated oil in a warm cast-iron pot until golden brown. Remove and set aside. Heat the rest of the oil in the pot and sauté the onion until soft. Add the spices and sauté for another minute. Add the rice and stir. Add the stock and chicken and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer over a low heat for 20 minutes, then add the potatoes. Cover and simmer until soft and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. Add a little water if necessary and season to taste. Serve with salad and bread. Serves 4.  


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