Potjiekos is a South African tradition, it translates to ‘small pot food’ (although it usually isn’t very small!) cooked outdoors over a fire, usually in a cast iron pot. Potjies work better when you are not in a rush and when you have great company to keep you entertained whilst the fire slow cooks your meal to perfection! We hosted a potjie party over the weekend, cooking up two monster lamb dishes in a fight to see which pot finished first!
But there can be only one and the winner was…..lamb potjie with apricots and almonds (with help from Go Magazine)!
Ingredients (this is for 6 people – we made a much larger amount)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 big onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated or chopped
250 g button mushrooms, halved
700 g lamb, cubed
600 ml beef stock
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon ground or crushed coriander seeds
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 lemon, peel grated, juice squeezed out
salt and black pepper, to taste
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
8 baby potatoes, halved (optional)
100 g almonds, chopped
½ cup dried apricots, chopped
There is quite a bit of pre frying and browning that needs to happen so I find it easier to just do this in a pot indoors but some may say that is cheating – so that is up to you! Fry the onions in the heated oil, add the garlic and ginger and fry for a minute or two. Add the mushrooms and fry until tender and then take everything out of the pot and set aside. Brown the meat in batches, keeping all the meat juice. Then put everything back in the pot, add the stock, tomato paste, four spices and the peel and juice of the lemon. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and then turn down the heat i.e. remove some of the coals so it is simmering slowly. Sit back and relax with your wonderful company and your favourite drink and occasionally stir the food and ensure it is in fact simmering slowly! Simmer for about 2-3 hours then add the apricots, carrots, almonds and potatoes and cook for about another hour (until the carrots and potatoes are perfectly soft and the apricots have disintegrated). Serve with rice and some freshly chopped coriander.
The best part, the left overs!
Oh and what would a party be without a theme? We thought it was appropriate to snuggle up with your favourite onesie!