A potjie is one of those incredible dishes that cooks itself. You just build the fire, add the ingredients and allow the pot to do the rest.
- 8 lamb necks.
- 2 large onions, diced.
- 1 large carrot, diced.
- Root vegetables of choice
- 3-4 garlic cloves.
- 4 dried bay leaves.
- 8 sprigs thyme.
- 1 cup red wine.
- 2 tbsp tomato paste.
- 4 cups lamb stock.
- Layer the ingredients. Start by placing the meat at the bottom of the pot then work your way up; putting the ingredients that need the longest cooking time at the bottom.
- Fry the spices. Fry your spices in a pan before adding them to the meat.
- Never disrupt the potjie. You want all the ingredients and flavours to slowly infuse while remaining in their layers. This means you have to resist the urge to stir the potjie.
- The potato-timer. Forget fancy thermometers, the humble potato is your tester and timer. Place one at the top of the pot at the beginning of the cook; when the potato has cooked through, you know the rest of the potjie is ready.
- Simmer not boil. You want your potjie to simmer away for a few hours without ever reaching boiling point. Place your coals around the outside of the pot’s legs and never directly underneath it.