24 August 2018

South Africa: Oxtail potjie recipe!

Potjiekos is a traditional South African way of cooking in a in a round, cast iron, three-legged pot (the potjie), over small amounts of wood or charcoal. Cooked always outside, potjiekos is almost as popular amongst South Africans as the legendary braai. One of my personal favourites is oxtail potjie - a hearty, rich and slow cooked stew of meltingly soft oxtail on the bone, vegetables, mushrooms and red wine. 

Potjie, Potjiekos, Oxtail Potjie, South Africa, recipe, outdoor cooking, dutch oven

Oxtail Potjie Recipe

  • 1kg oxtail, sliced into pieces in between the bones
  • 2 tbs all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • vegetable oil
  • 250g Bacon, cubed
  • 10 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 carrots, chopped coarsely
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 large leeks, chopped coarsely
  • 1 tin peeled tomatoes (800 ml)
  • ca. 500g mushrooms
  • 10+ small potatoes
  • 300ml red wine
  • 1+- litre water (or beef stock)
  • 2 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 10 pepper corns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • salt
  • ground black pepper pepper
Potjie, Potjiekos, Oxtail Potjie, South Africa, recipe, outdoor cooking, dutch oven

  • Wipe the oxtails dry with a paper towel.
  • Put flour, salt, paprika, coriander and pepper into a plastic bag and toss together with oxtail pieces so the meat is evenly coated. Retain seasoned flour left in the bag in case you need to thicken the stew later.
  • Prepare a direct fire and make sure you have hot coals for the start of the potjie.
  • Heat the vegetable oil in the potjie and sauté bacon cubes.
  • Remove bacon, add the oxtail to the pot and brown in the bacon fat. When each piece is browned all over, remove and drain on paper towels while keeping warm.
  • Add onion and garlic and fry for a few minutes until just turning brown.
  • Return the oxtail and bacon to the pot and add the tomato paste, peeled tomatoes, water (or beef stock), red wine, thyme, bay leaf and the peppercorns
  • Bring slowly to the boil. Cover tightly with a lid and allow to cook undisturbed for 5 hours.
  • Add leeks, carrots, mushrooms, potatoes and continue cooking slowly, without stirring, for another hour.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve with fresh bread.

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