MUTTON / LAMB POTJIE
The ingredients below need a no 3 to no 4 pot and should feed 10 to 12 people.
2kg mutton or lamb. Mutton needs more time to cook, but is more economical. Any part of the carcass can be used, but for myself I prefer either neck or shank.
Salt and black pepper to taste
400 ml water
500 g bacon
300 ml semi-sweet wine
5 ml dried thyme
5 ml dried parsley
5 ml flaked garlic
300 ml chopped green beans - frozen beans can be used, but the best is real young green beans cut into large pieces (5 cm).
5 large chopped carrots
6 to 8 chopped potatoes
1 packet of soup powder
1 tin of mushrooms or 250 g fresh mushrooms
Any other interesting and colourful vegetables can be used, such as butternut, baby marrows and pattypans. Tinned vegetables can be added 10 minutes before the pot is ready.
If the bacon is fatty enough it can be fried in the pot, followed by the onions. If it is lean bacon, it is best to fry the onions first in a little bit of sunflower oil and then the bacon in the oily pot. By frying the bacon and onions in the pot, the flavor stays in the pot. Put the bacon and onions aside to use later and fry the meat in the pot until brown.
Add salt and pepper to the meat as well as the rest of the spices. Add water and cook for 90 minutes if you are using lamb and 2 hours if you use mutton.
Always keep some water ready to add if necessary. Be careful not to let the pot burn.
When the meat is ready or almost ready, you can start adding the rest of the ingredients in layers.
The first layer on top of the meat will be the fried onions and bacon, then layer the vegetables with the vegetables that takes longer to cook nearer to the bottom of the pot i.e. first the carrots, then the potatoes with the mushrooms right on top. Each layer receives a light sprinkling of salt and pepper. Be careful not to add too much salt. It may even be better not to add any more salt as the soup powder still has to be added and it usually is salty enough.
After cooking for another 30 minutes the vegetables will be ready. The soup powder can be mixed with a little bit of water and added to the pot with the wine. Cook for another 10 minutes and then stir slightly, taking care not to mash the ingredients.
Enjoy the meal with freshly baked bread.
* Afrikaans terminology:
Bakoond – an outside wood-burning oven
Boerewors – a spicy farm sausage
Braai – a barbecue
Potjie – a stew, slow-cooked in an iron pot over an open fire.
Sosaties – meat kebabs, usually with a curry sauce