South African Comfort Food! Potjiekos!

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This is what we call a “potjie” (pot) to all my international readers, you may know this as a cauldron.

Now, as I am a new blogger, many of you will not know that I am actually from South Africa! I would like to share with you our favorite form of comfort food. Potjiekos! Pronounced “poy-kee-kos” it is the Afrikaans word for “pot food”. It is essentially a slow-cooked stew made in a potjie (pot) or cauldron on an open fire.

Now, I understand that many of you won’t have a potjie pot or cauldron so you CAN also make these stews in a large pot on the stove over a medium-low heat.

There are, literally, thousands of potjiekos recipes out there, but this is my favourite:

Beef and Beer Potjiekos

  • 15 ml cake flour
  • 5 ml paprika
  • 1kg beef fillet, cubed
  • 15 ml butter
  • 15 ml oil
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 15 ml white sugar
  • 18 green beans, cut up
  • 6 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4-5 baby potatoes, washed and halved
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped

    potjiekos_460_wide
    Delicious, thick and bubbly stew full of hearty meat and veg. Perfect for a family or winter get together.
  • (I love spicy food, especially in winter, so if you want you can also add a chilli (pepper) or two!)
  • 15 ml mixed herbs
  • 375 ml beer
  • 250 ml beef stock
  • 1 packet tomato soup powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 15 ml vinegar
  • 10 ml corn flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Coat the meat with a mixture of the flour and paprika. Heat the oil and butter in the pot and brown the meat.
  2. Remove the meat and brown the onions, garlic and sugar until the onions are nice and soft.
  3. Place the meat back into the pot and stir in the herbs, spices (chilli if you want), beer, beef stock, soup powder and bay leaf.
  4. Cover with the lid and allow the pot to reach a simmer for 1.5 hours or until the meat is tender. HERE IS THE TRICK TO POTJIEKOS: try not to stir the mix too often (once or twice is okay), if you have it at a low-medium heat it will not burn!
  5. Add the beans, carrots and potatoes and cover with the lid and allow the pot to simmer for a further 30 minutes.

This recipe should feed about 5-6 people and is best served with rice or over buttery mashed potatoes!

I hope you enjoy this meal and feel the fire of South African culture as it warms your belly!!

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