I was recently (at the time of writing a few minutes ago) asked for a leg of lamb (skaapboud) potjie recipe on Twitter. That medium allowing only 140 characters, I thought it better to answer the question here. I’ve done a few leg of lamb potjies in my life, but never from a recipe. Leg of lamb is such a great meat to start with that you need to stick to the basics of potjie making and the result will be awesome.
- 1 Leg of lamb (on the bone, I assume, but off the bone also fine and will be ready sooner).
- 2 chopped or sliced onions
- 3 cloves of chopped garlic
- 1 stick of chopped celery
- 1 kg of chopped tomatoes
- about 5 peeled & cut potatoes
- about 5 peeled & cut carrots
- Whichever other interesting vegetables are on hand. This could be green beans, baby marrow, mushrooms, peppers, sweet potato, etc. Anything really.
- Dried fruit
- Olive oil or butter
- Salt & pepper
- Place the pot on the fire and heat the olive oil or butter.
- Add the onions, garlic & celery and fry for 2 minutes.
- Add the leg of lamb, and brown on all sides. If the pot is too warm and the meat is burning, add a few tots of wine. (At the time of writing it was 28 December, I assume there is some leftover wine in your fridge).
- Grind salt & pepper onto all sides of the meat.
- When the meat is brown, add all the tomatoes.
- Put the lid onto the pot, and gently simmer for 1 hour.
- Open the lid, smell the pot, pat yourself on the back.
- The piece of meat should lie roughly in the middle of the pot.
- Pack all the potato pieces and then all the carrot pieces around the meat.
- Now all other vegetables that have to be eaten cooked (for e.g. sweet potato & pumpkin) as well as the dried fruit. Grind salt & pepper onto the top layer of what you see.
- Do not stir the pot, but gently ensure there is enough liquid in the bottom, and that it’s not burning. If unsure, add a bit more wine.
- Replace lid and simmer for another hour or 2.
- Now add all the vegetables that one can eat uncooked (e.g. mushrooms, baby marrows, peppers).
- Replace lid and simmer for another half hour.
- Remove pot from fire and prepare to serve with rice or, and I prefer this, fresh bread.
- You will still need to slice the meat. Either in the pot, or on a cutting board on the side.
- Do not stir the pot at any time. This will break the vegetables and make you look like an amateur.
- At the end of the process, just before serving, you should have minimal free flowing liquid in the pot and a nice thick sauce surrounding the bottom vegetables. We are not making soup. Using chopped tomatoes instead of water at the start will greatly aid you in this goal at the end.