From our chef: Potjiekos
The cooler evenings of the South African autumn are ideal for dining around the campfire. A popular dish is the traditional stew of the first settlers - the farmers who moved to this region with their ox carts. This traditional stew is called "Potjiekos" after the cast-iron pots in which the stew is prepared. There are many possible variants, but our favourite is beef/curry. It is also a dish our chef Innocent likes to prepare for our guests. Here is the recipe he uses.
Potjiekos (pronounced poikie-kos) is a typical South African stew. It is traditionally cooked on an open fire in a "potjie", a heavy cast-iron pot. But you can also use a suitable pan on your stove. It is a recipe that originates from the South African farmers.
The following recipe is the one our chef uses, but many variations are possible. You can change the recipe to suit your own taste by adding various herbs or by using another type of meat, or even fish. In the Netherlands, some of the vegetables may only be available from specialist shops, but you can experiment with other vegetables.
Ingredients (for 4 persons)
- 400 grams beef
- 4 onions, cut into small pieces
- 1 clove of garlic, pressed
- 200 ml oil (sunflower oil or olive oil)
- 20 ml curry powder
- 2.5 ml turmeric
- 1 ml ground coriander
- 8 bay leaves
- 4 potatoes, peeled and cut
- Various vegetables, such as courgette, butternut (type of pumpkin), baby corn, green and yellow baby pumpkin (pettypan)
- 4 tomatoes, diced
- Salt and pepper
Heat the oil in a large pan. Chop the onions and fry them in the oil. Press the clove of garlic and add it. Brown the onions. Now add the curry powder, coriander, turmeric and bay leaves and stir well. Dice the beef and add it to the onions and herbs. Brown the beef cubes. Peel the potatoes and cut them into pieces. When the meat is ready, place the potatoes on top of the layer of meat. Clean the vegetables and dice them. Mix the vegetables and add them as a layer on top of the potatoes. Finally, clean the tomatoes and cut them into chunks. The tomatoes are added as the top layer. Add some salt and pepper and simmer for two to three hours on the lowest setting of your stove. Do not stir the dish after you have added the potatoes. The potjiekos is ready when the vegetables are soft. Just before serving, stir all the ingredients well and add some extra herbs, if necessary.
Serve the potjiekos with rice and a fresh salad.