I love oxtail, but before I share this recipe with you, let me tell you a bit more about ‘potjiekos’. Literally translated ‘potjiekos’ means ‘pot food’. The food is cooked in a heavy cast iron pot that hangs over an open fire, and of course this means it’s cooked outside. ‘Potjiekos’ has become as much part of South Africa’s culture as a ‘braai’ (BBQ). Many years ago, when the Dutch settlers arrived in South Africa, they were the ones who brought the heavy cast iron pots to the country, and a tradition was born.
So let me share with you the recipe of the best ‘potjie’ I have ever eaten, oxtail potjie.
500g oxtails cut into thick pieces
10 slices bacon cut into pieces
½ cup flour seasoned with salt and pepper
1 liter beef stock
1 can tomato paste
1 bay leaf
6 black peppercorns
1 bouquet garni
6 large leeks, chopped coarsely
2 large onions, chopped coarsely
6 large carrots, chopped coarsely
20 button mushrooms
1 cup red wine
½ cup sherry
½ cup cream
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons crushed garlic
- Dry the oxtails with paper towel.
- Put seasoned flour in a ziplock bag, then add the oxtail and shake to coat with flour.
- Heat the butter and olive oil and sauté bacon pieces.
- Remove the bacon and brown the oxtail in resulting fat, remove and drain.
- Finely dice 4 of the carrots.
- Coarsely chop the onions and the leeks.
- Add the finely diced carrots, leeks, onions and sauté until softened.
- Add the oxtail, bacon, bouquet garni, bay leaf, peppercorns, garlic, tomato sauce, red wine, sherry.
- Bring slowly to a boil and cook slowly for 3 – 4 hours.
- 1 hour before serving cut the remaining carrots into 1 inch pieces, add them and the mushrooms and continue cooking slowly.
- Just prior to serving, add cream and stir in.
- If you want to thicken the sauce mix some cornstarch with the cream before adding.
© Marie Rebelle