All about Potjiepots and Potjiekos …
Our great-grandmothers probably had two pots without which they would have been lost.
The most popular one of these was the round bellied, three legged cast iron pot. This sometimes had the legs sawn down so that it could be used on a black coal stove. One of the stove plates was removed and the pot fitted comfortably in this “nest”. Soups, stews and meal-in-one dishes (Potjiekos) were cooked to perfection. The rounded shape of the base (almost like a Chinese Wok) ensured that all the juices accumulated at the base of the pot near the heat.
Potjiekos originated with the Voortrekkers evolving as a stew made of venison and vegetables if these were available.
As the Trekkers shot wild game it was added to the pot.
Each day when the wagons stopped, the pot was placed over the fire to simmer.
New bones and meat replaced the old.
Game could include venison, poultry such as guinea fowl, warthog, bushpig, rabbit and hare.
Over the years the cooking in the three legged pot evolved and refined and today many excellent recipes are available to make a host of different Potjiekos!
Visit our Potjiekos recipe page for some of the finest selections of Potjiekos recipes.
- The meat usually comes first. Add a dash of cooking oil in the pot and when it is hot add the meat.
- Add sliced onions and stir the meat to seal in the flavour.
- Then add vegetables in layers according to cooking times, carrots at the bottom followed by sweet potatoes, potatoes, pumpkin, mushroom etc.
- Arrange the vegetables in layers around the sides forming a hollow for the rice.
- Marinade or liquid is now added to about 2 cm under the top layer of vegetables. Replace the lid and DO NOT STIR after this.
- Keep the pot simmering till done. Before serving, stir through once to ensure the meat and veggies at the bottom will be dished up and ENJOY!!
We have found that a size 3 Potjiepot is big enough to make a splendid meal for a family of 4-6 people!
Note! Always add hard vegetables first with the soft veggies on top or some even added towards the end of the cooking process