Wednesday was an opportunity to do another potjie, one of my favourite pastimes. I am on leave for a week, I took five days just to chill after the chaos of the December and January production demands, also I needed to get my bike down to Capetown for it's 90,000km service. Janet came down with me on Tuesday and we had a nice day but the mechanic needed more time with the bike so I left it there and only had to go and collect it on Thursday.
As the beef shin pot needs a long time to simmer I was able to get started early and as I had a new product that I wanted to test I invited Frank to come for dinner, he was to be a "Guinea pig". He definitely has no objection to this at all, in fact I think he enjoys it!
I am not a traditionalist, it has been a long time since I have cooked a potjie over the coals, I use gas for the sheer convenience, you can say what you like, gas is super convenient.
I started at 16h00 by heating some cooking oil in the pot and then added two roughly chopped onions, one red and one green bell pepper also roughly chopped and then a heaped teaspoon of crushed garlic,
In the meantime I cut my beef shin into smaller chunks and seasoned liberally with Aromat, mixed herbs and crushed black pepper,
I then added the contents of one packet of "Chilli Beef and Vegetable" soup powder and gave the whole lot a good shake up so that the meat was well coated with all of those ingredients.
Once the onions and peppers were softened and translucent I dumped the meat into the pot and kept stirring until the meat had browned.
The new ingredient that I wanted to try was "Koo Concentrated Wet Stock" so I mixed the contents of the sachet into a large cup of red wine and stirred it in. I must say that my pot definitely had a good beefy flavour in the end although it was difficult to ascertain whether that was because of the soup powder, the stock or a combination of the two. I will have to experiment further.
Time to simmer, I left the pot on a low heat with the lid on for an hour while I prepared my vegetables; I give my pot a good stir every so often while it is simmering to keep the meat from sticking to the bottom.
Mushrooms, butternut squash, potatoes, cauliflower and broccoli, I didn't use the cabbage after all, I thought that was enough. I added the hard vegetables, the potato and butternut and left it to simmer again.
I still stir the pot occasionally, but carefully this time so as not to break up the potatoes and squash, once they start to feel soft, and the meat feels tender I add the other vegetables and leave on a low heat just until the cauliflower and broccoli have heated through but retain their "crunch".
Time to eat! Janet prepared some rice and the consensus was that it was a good one, a nice meaty flavour with a good, thick and tasty gravy. When I do a pot like this we could feed another four people but Frank always gets a "doggie bag" and we have enough leftovers for another meal the next night.
Man I love potjies!