Howzit bru, let’s talk about the Potjie Pot – a favourite amongst South Africans for cooking up a storm. The Potjie Pot has been around since the 1500s when witches used them to cook and perform their ceremonies. It made its way to South Africa with the Dutch settlers and has been a staple in our kitchens ever since.
The Potjie Pot is made from cast iron and has three legs, making it perfect for standing on an open fire. The number of rings on the Potjie Pot indicates its size, with the number one Potjie Pot being enough food for two people and the number three Potjie Pot being enough for six people.
How do you burn a new potjie
Before you start cooking in your Potjie Pot, you’ll need to burn it. First, wash it with warm water and dishwashing liquid, and then cook pap and vegetable peelings in it to soak up any residue.
Scrub the inside of the pot with a scourer, and then wash it one more time with warm water and dishwashing liquid.
The Best Way to clean a Potjie After Use
Coat the inside of the pot with oil and heat it until it starts smoking. Wipe the pot with a newspaper until the black stuff stops coming off the inside of the pot.
Wait for the pot to cool down, and then wash it one more time with warm water and soap. Coat it with cooking oil for storage.
Cooking in Your Potjie Pot
Now that your Potjie Pot is ready to go, let’s talk about what you can cook in it. Oxtail is a popular dish that is slow-cooked in the Pot. To make it, you’ll need oxtail, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, tomato paste, flour, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, beef broth, red wine, salt, pepper, and olive oil.
First, brown the oxtail pieces in the Pot and remove them from the pot. Then, sauté the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic in the Pot until the vegetables are soft.
Add the tomato paste, flour, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves to the Pot, and stir until combined.
Then Add the beef broth and red wine to the Pot, and stir until combined.
Add the oxtail back to the Pot and bring the mixture to a boil.
Reduce the heat and let the oxtail simmer in the Pot for 3-4 hours, or until the meat is tender and falls off the bone. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
The Potjie Pot is not just for oxtail, though. South Africans love to cook all sorts of dishes in their Pots, from lamb curry to chicken and mushroom stew to beef pot roast. And of course, no conversation about South African food is complete without mentioning the braai. Whether you’re cooking up some boerewors, lamb chops, or steak, the Pot is the perfect accompaniment to any braai.
In South Africa, food is not just about sustenance – it’s about family, community, and coming together over a shared love of good food. The Potjie Pot embodies that spirit perfectly, and we’re proud to call it one of our own.