July 29, 2011 in Meat
No apologies for the Afrikaans recipe title. Afrikaans is my mother’s language and my first language and Afrikaners get very plesierig when we braai and when we make a potjie, we get even more plesierig as the cooking time for lamb knuckle is infinitely longer than for lamb chops ..!
But just in case you’re not that familiar with Afrikaans, potjie is the term for a cooking vessel used outdoors over an open wood fire. Like much of our local lingo, it has taken on various inferences. It has also become the term for a stew-like recipe or meal cooked in the vessel over the open fire. And alas, it has even become a verb: “We’re going to potjie this weekend.” And we even have a fabulous local male blogger – the only really prolific, good and active male blogger around that I know of – called you guessed it, Potjie.
Anyways, I have never-ever made a potjie over the coals in my life but I bet any woman who can cook a great stew can potjie a man right under the table. It’s just we dislike the heat … But I bet more women have made more stew-kinds of food than any other kind of food and the reason? Time, dears, time. With a stew, you chop it all up, brown it a little, season, add something that will end up as a sauce and simmer. And other than the occasional peek in the pot, you can get on with it. Whatever your ‘it’ is …
So, here’s the weekend’s slow food to give you time for your ‘it’. It’s a hearty, mix-‘n-match concoction with great smoky tones. And note that I’ve been radical with the quantities of the aromatics and spices. You can reduce the spice (or even increase, o my wild sister) to suit your own taste and flair. And you can do it or he can do it or you can both do it and you can do it over the coals or using the top of the stove or the oven or even under the bed if you own one of those nifty cooking bag thingies … (forgive me dear manufacturer, I read about and forgot the name … ) But anyway, here is the recipe. Enjoy!
Lekker Rokerige Lamskenkel-potjie
In honour of the Mexican inspiration, I usually serve this with creamy yellow polenta and pass around bowls of avocado and cucumber salsa, grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, and coarsely chopped coriander leaves (cilantro).
Until next week, have yourself a potjie of a weekend!