When I make potjie, it’s not always a half-day job. I do believe that you can also focus your efforts on making life as much fun and hassle-free as possible. And so my original Rogan Josh Curry Potjie recipe does not involve knuckles, necks or any other tough cut of stewing meat but rather, deboned bite-sized chunks of lamb meat, which amongst other things, mean you go from lighting the fire to serving the feast in 1 hour. Simply speaking, I don’t have a day to wait everytime the Rogan Josh craving speaks to me. Naturally, this evolved into sometimes making said feast not with a wonderful bit of leg of lamb meat, but by simply cutting beef steaks down to size and having a wonderfully fragrant Beef Rogan Josh Potjie ready in well under an hour. As you might imagine, this is often served with roti or roosterkoek – which led me to this burger. Same basic ingredients, quicker to make, same tried-and-tested winning flavour profile and neatly packaged as a burger. A natural evolution paying proud homage to its origin in beauty, texture and taste.
FOR THE BURGER
- 500 g lean beef mince (or 4 high-quality hamburger patties)
- 4 hamburger rolls
- butter or olive oil
- cucumber (12 slices)
- 2 tomatoes (sliced)
- 1 punnet fresh corianderFOR THE SAUCE
- 2 tots olive oil
- 1 onion (peeled and finely chopped)
- 4 garlic cloves (crushed or chopped)
- fresh ginger (crushed or chopped, equal in volume to the garlic)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tot paprika
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp cloves (powder)
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup plain yoghurt
- Convert the 500 g lean beef mince into four equally sized, 100% pure-beef patties. Pure mince binds perfectly for a great patty – don’t add anything like onion, breadcrumbs, egg, spices, salt or pepper. Your two recently washed hands are entirely capable of forming patties from mince but a patty press makes the job even easier.
- Make the sauce: Heat the oil in your fireproof pan or pot and sauté the onion until soft. Add the garlic and ginger and fry for about 1 minute and then add all of the other spices. Right about now, you will smell some great things happening in the pot as the heat starts to release fragrances from the spices. Continue to fry the spices until things start to get overly sticky at the bottom of the potjie. Now add the water and use the water to scrape loose any bits that might be stuck on the bottom of the potjie. Let the sauce simmer until most of the water has cooked off and then add the yoghurt while stirring continuously to properly combine it with everything else. Let the sauce continue to simmer gently, stirring often enough that it doesn’t burn, continuing to reduce it slightly while you braai the patties.
- Braai the patties in a grid over very hot coals. Aim for 8 minutes’ braai time in total, only turning once. To avoid the patties getting stuck to the grid, you can use a combination of the following tactics: Use a grid with thicker rods; spray the grid with non-stick spray; gently lay the patties onto the grid so that you’re not squeezing them into the grid; braai over very hot coals so that the patties seal before sinking into the grid; move the patties slightly with your braai tongs or spatula just as they start to braai and seal, so that ever-so-slightly braaied meat (as opposed to completely raw meat) touches the grid. As the meat cooks, it naturally starts loosening from the grid. Now, only turn the patties once and do that gently.
- Butter or oil the insides of the cut rolls and toast on the grid, taking care not to over-toast (burn) them.
- Assemble the burger: Roll, cucumber, tomato, patty, Rogan Josh sauce, fresh coriander, roll.
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