Oxtail Potjie


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


  1. Dry the oxtails with paper towel.
  2. Put seasoned flour in a ziplock bag, then add the oxtail and shake to coat with flour.
  3. Heat the butter and olive oil and sauté bacon pieces.
  4. Remove the bacon and brown the oxtail in resulting fat, remove and drain.
  5. Finely dice 4 of the carrots.
  6. Coarsely chop the onions and the leeks.
  7. Add the finely diced carrots, leeks, onions and sauté until softened.
  8. Add the oxtail, bacon, bouquet garni, bay leaf, peppercorns, garlic, tomato sauce, red wine, sherry.
  9. Bring slowly to a boil and cook slowly for 3 – 4 hours.
  10. 1 hour before serving cut the remaining carrots into 1 inch pieces, add them and the mushrooms and continue cooking slowly.
  11. Just prior to serving, add cream and stir in.
  12. If you want to thicken the sauce mix some cornstarch with the cream before adding.

Recipe: Potjiekos World
Image: Times Live

© Marie Rebelle

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