The, old time South African favourite, potjiekos literally translates to small pot of food and traditionally the recipe includes meat, vegetables and flavourful spices.
Typically, ingredients are added into the pot in layers, according to what will require the longest cooking period – meat first, then vegetables, potatoes, carrots, mealies, butternut, mushrooms etc. In order to get the best out of your potjie you should let it slow-cook and simmer over medium heat coals.
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Many people are firm believers that the key factors to mastering an authentic South African potjie is to never stir the pot during the cooking process, cook for at least more than 3 hours and never use too much liquid. Others believe in occasional stirring and this is often frowned upon by boerekos enthusiasts.
Being able to make a lekker potjie takes patience and a special craft because things can easily go wrong and you’ll end up with a watery, tasteless pot.
A potjie (much like a braai) takes place outside on an open fire and doubles up as a social gathering. What’s nice about a potjie is that it needs very little attention, which gives guests the perfect opportunity to chat up a storm around the fire and of cause have a few drinks while it happily simmers away.
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PRO TIP: wash the pot with warm, soapy water then dry and coat with a thin layer of oil, after each use. This will prevent it from rusting and ensure that you get years of good use out of it.
Have any potjiekos secrets to share? Let us know in the comments section below.
- Chante Felix