Classic South African recipe for deliciously tender Oxtail Potjie – does require patience, but its very worth it.
500 – 600g Oxtail pieces
2 smoky Kassler chops cubed (you can use bacon, about 1/2 a packet but bacon just does not seem to be as smoky as it used to be)
1/2 cup seasoned flour
1 liter beef stock
400g tin tomato paste
2 tablespoons crushed garlic
2 dry bay leaves
4 large leeks roughly chopped
2 large onions roughly chopped
2 large carrots roughly chopped
3 large potatoes roughly chopped
250g punnet button mushrooms
1 cup red wine
1/2 cup sherry
Fresh Mixed herbs, about 10 stalks tied together that you can remove easily
Prepare your fire to a hot coal stage and have plenty of spare charcoal or wood standing by because you are going to need to keep the fire going for about 4 hours.
Chop up all your veg and place in bowls ready to add.
Place your potjie on the edge of the fire to heat up, add the butter and a good splash of olive oil, add the Kassler cubes or bacon and cook for about 5 minutes.
Sprinkle the oxtail pieces with the seasoned flour to coat and then brown with the kassler cubes, turning them with tongs to get a nice colour all over.
Remove the oxtail pieces and the kassler and set aside.
Add the carrots, the onions and the leeks and cook for about 5 minutes.
Now add back the meat and all of the rest of the ingredients, stir, place on the lid, make sure the fire is moderate to hot just not boiling, crack open a beer and sit back for at least 2 hours before you take a look.
Make sure the fire is kept fairly constant, you want the sauce to bubble slowly, not boil.
After 3 hours check again and if the sauce is too thin, add a tablespoon of maizena (cornstarch) to 2 tablespoons of water, mix and then add to the liquid, stir and cook for the last half hour.
Leave it on the fire for about 3 1/2 hours in total before serving.