For most South Africans it is hard to imagine a weekend without cooking over an open fire. For many, it is also hard to call a weekend successful if a Potjie was not involved. Although Potjiekos really only means a stew-type dish cooked in a pot over an open fire, this South African culinary tradition, similar to the braai, has become a thing of pride and even prejudice.
There are as many opinions on the perfect pot as there are recipes and ways of cooking. The type and temperature of the coals, the type of pot (three-legged or flat), the size of the pot, whether to stir it or not…
Whether your Pot is meaty or modern, traditional or trendy, South Africans are proud of their potjies and while they may disagree about the perfect pot, it surely brings them together around a fire or table. This is why guests at the Leopard’s Leap South African Table will enjoy warming and welcoming potjiekos during August. Make sure to book for an entertaining lunch in the Leopard’s Leap kitchen or try our Lamb neck and Waterblommetjie recipe below.
Lamb neck and waterblommetjie potjie
1.5 kg Lamb neck
150 g Flour
2 T Whole coriander seeds
3 Whole cloves
3 Garlic cloves, crushed
2 sprigs Rosemary
2 Bay leaves
2 T Olive oil blend
2 White onion, brunoises
4 Cups Lamb stock
1 kg Waterblommetjies
500 g Baby potatoes, peeled and halved
To taste Maldon smoked sea salt
To taste Black pepper, freshly cracked
Wash the waterblommetjies thoroughly in salted water, cut off the stems.
Soak the waterblommetjies in lightly salted water until use.
Prepare moderate coals.
Toss the lamb neck together with the flour to ensure the lamb neck is lightly and evenly covered.
Heat the olive oil blend in a cast iron pot over the coals.
Brown the lamb neck pieces thoroughly.
Remove the lamb neck from the cast iron pot and keep aside.
Add the onions, rosemary and bay leaves, sauté until the onions are golden brown.
Add the crushed garlic and sauté for 5 minutes.
Deglaze with the Culinaria Grand Vin to ensure nothing is stuck to the bottom of the pot.
Add the whole coriander seeds and whole cloves to a pestle and mortar.
Break the spices up until coarse and add to the pot.
Add the lamb stock and cover with lid.
Once the stock has lightly simmered add the browned lamb neck back into the cast iron pot and cover with the lid.
Allow the pot to gently simmer, ensuring that there are enough coals to maintain moderate heat.
Simmer for 1 hour.
Add and stir through the waterblommetjies and baby potatoes.
Cover with the lid.
Allow to simmer until the baby potatoes are soft and the waterblommetjies are tender.
Add Maldon smoked sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.
Serve with balsamic pickled onions.
Garnish with fresh mint, microgreens and fresh radish.
Balsamic pickled onions
500g Pearl onions, thinly sliced
1 Cup Balsamic vinegar
1 Cup White sugar
2 Bay leaves
1 tsp Maldon smoked sea salt
Combine all ingredients into a small saucepan.
Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes.
Remove from heat and set aside.
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