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This potjiekos recipe honors the traditional South African cooking method while incorporating a blend of flavors that pay homage to the country's rich cultural heritage. This recipe is designed to be flexible and to encourage experimentation, much like the potjiekos tradition itself. Enjoy the process of making it as much as the meal!


2 lb beef (chuck, cut into 2-inch cubes)
2 onion (peeled and chopped)
4 clv garlic (peeled and minced)
4 carrot (large, peeled and chopped)
3 potato (large, peeled and diced)
1 hd cabbage (small, rinsed and chopped)
1 c pumpkin (peeled and diced pumpkin)
2 tomato (rinsed and chopped)
1 c wine (optional, red wine)
2 c liquid (beef stock or water, 3 cups if wine not used)
2 lf bay leaf
1 t coriander (or to taste, ground coriander)
1 t cumin (or to taste, ground cumin)
1⁄2 t nutmeg (freshly grated or ground)
  seasoning (salt and pepper to taste)


Heat the oil in the potjie pot over an open fire and brown the beef cubes in batches. Set aside.

In the same pot, sauté the onions and garlic until translucent.

Return the beef to the pot, add the bay leaves, coriander, cumin, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.

Layer the vegetables on top of the meat in the order of their cooking time, starting with the ones that take the longest to cook (potatoes, carrots, pumpkin).

Pour the red wine and beef stock over the layers.

Cover and allow to simmer over low heat for about 3-4 hours without stirring, adding more liquid if necessary.

Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary before serving.

Total time
4 hours, 45 minutes
Cooking time
Preparation time
6 servings


Serve the potjiekos with a side of traditional mieliepap (cornmeal porridge) or crusty bread to soak up the delicious juices.


For a gamey twist, substitute beef with oxtail or game meat.

Seafood lovers can make a seafood potjie, using fish stock and adding firm fish, shrimp, and mussels.

Vegetarians can omit the meat and use a variety of beans and lentils as protein sources.


South African cuisine

Traditional potjiekos is cooked outdoors over an open fire. The slow-cooking process provides an oportunity for socializing, making it a popular choice for gatherings.

one pot meal, moderate
meat, vegetables
South African food recipes
Food in Africa