Tonight, Rich is cooking up a culinary feast! We are making it a past time to have a potjie every Sunday night. Us South Africans enjoy what we call a potjie (pronounced poykee). It is a round cast iron pot on three legs. Usually we cook a stew in it over a bed of coals. Tonight we are having beef shin, with veggies and dumplings. Yum! We are also having potbrood (potbread). Its bread baked in a flat bottomed cast iron pot over the coals. Tonight we are having a special steamed melkbrood (milk bread).
There is an art to making a successful potjie. You don't just throw in all the ingredients and hope for the best. No, no! Once the temperature of the coals is right, you heat some cooking oil in the pot and brown the meat. Then you take the meat out and brown the onions. Put the meat back in the pot, prepare the stock and spices, and add that the meat and onions. Cook for an hour or two. Then add your veg in layers according to how long they take to cook. For example potatoes go in first because they take longer. Then the carrots and so on. Leave that to cook for another hour or two. The longer the better. Keep an hour on the temperature and the level of the liquid. You don't want it to catch. If you are going to add dumplings to it, prepare the mixture and gently spoon in the dumplings 15-20 minutes before you serve. DON’T lift the lid while the dumplings are cooking or they will flop!