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Sunday, 14 May 2017

Making Pap & Potjiekos

Potjiekos, for my readers unfamiliar with South Africa, is a stew prepared in a heavy cast iron pot, usually over an open fire. It is then slow cooked, giving the meat enough time to tenderize. The stew/potjie, is traditionally eaten with Samp (crushed corn) pap (comparable to polenta) rice, or even mashed potatoes. I show you how to cook both pap and a no nonsense potjie in today's blog.

To prepare the pap, bring roughly 1 - 1,5 litres water to the boil. Add about 15 ml salt.

You get fine to coarse maize meal to make pap. I prefer the coarse variety.

Add 4-6 cups (1 -1,5 litres) maize meal to the water. Move the pot off the heat before adding the maize, or the hot blobs bubbling up will burn you.

Return the pot to the heat and turn the heat down to 2/3 out of six settings. Allow to cook for 2-3 hours without stirring and the lid on. Stir before serving.

Allow your pot to warm on the heat. I used a gas flame for today's potjie. Heat a little oil in the bottom of the pot.

You can use any meat to make a potjie from. I used beef for mine. Any stewing beef with a lot of bone in it is delicious. The bone adds flavour to the dish.

Braise the meat in the hot oil. This is the last time you will stir the potjie until right before serving.

Season to taste with salt and pepper and add a sprig of rosemary to the pot.

Add water. You will need to keep an eye on the pot to make sure it has enough water, adding more occasionally as required.

Add roughly 150 ml red wine vinegar. Allow the meat to cook for roughly two hours before adding the veggies.

You will need 4 onions.

Chop the onions roughly. All our veggies will be chunky, or it will cook away.

Lightly brown the onions in a pan, before adding it to the pot.

You will need 6 medium sized carrots.

Peel and cut the carrots into chunky bits before adding it to the pot. Allow to cook for 30 minutes to 1 hour more.

Now add 5 large potatoes.

Peel the potatoes and cut into chunks.

I add a butternut pumpkin to add natural sweetness.

The butternut is peeled, pitted and cut into chunks.

Allow the potjie to cook for another 1-2 hours with the lid on. 4-6 hours cooking makes for a really good potjie.

Stir the potjie well when done. Serve hot on your favourite base and enjoy!

Marietjie Uys (Miekie) is a published author. You can buy my books here:
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