Potjiekos: the irresistible recipe for a classic South African stew

Total time: 130 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 4 people
By Cookist
lamb, cubed
3 pounds
Olive oil
2 tbsp
onions, chopped
beef stock
3 cups
Red wine
1 cup
small carrots
1 pound
baby potatoes
1 pound
1 tbsp
curry powder
2 tbsp
1 tbsp
1/2 cup
salt and pepper to taste

If you've never heard of potjiekos, you've been missing out. This South African stew is a delicious dish whose name translates to “small pot food.” It is traditionally made in a potjie, a three-legged cast iron pot similar to a Dutch oven.

Potjiekos is made by slow cooking meat, often lamb or beef, in a broth and wine, then adding in vegetables, spices, and a bit of milk. It's different compared to classic stews in that you don't stir potjiekos. It's a wonderfully flavorful stew, filled with savory, melt-in-your-mouth meat and tender veggies. It's a delicious, easy dish that the whole family will enjoy!

Tips for the Best Potjiekos

Potjiekos is traditionally served with steamed rice or mielepap, a type of South African maize porridge.

Don't stir the potjiekos – not stirring is essential to making the perfect potjiekos.

Let your stew cook at a gentle simmer rather than boiling it. The key to delicious potjiekos is to let it slow cook.

If you don't want to use lamb, beef or game meat are delicious substitutes.

Other vegetables you can add to your potjiekos include cabbage, cauliflower, and pumpkin.


How to Store Potjiekos

Transfer cooled potjiekos to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 2 days. Frozen potjiekos will keep for up to 2 months.

How to Make Potjiekos

Heat oil in a Dutch oven. Season the lamb with salt and pepper, and saute until browned. Take the lamb out of the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Put the onions in the Dutch oven and fry them for 8 minutes, or until they soften.

Place the meat back in the pot, then pour in the wine and just enough beef stock to cover the meat. Reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid, and simmer for 1 hour.

Stir in the carrots and potatoes and simmer for 30 more minutes.

Stir the sugar, turmeric, and curry powder into the milk, then add the spiced milk to the Dutch oven.

Let the mixture come up to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Serve warm.


If you don't want to use wine, pomegranate juice, stock, grape juice, or non-alcoholic wine are great substitutes.

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