Lamb Potjiekos

Traditional South African Comfort Food

Lamb PotjieKos

In South Africa, a potjiekos, literally translated “small-pot food”, is a dish prepared outdoors. It is traditionally cooked in a round, cast iron, three-legged pot, the potjie, descended from the Dutch oven brought from the Netherlands to South Africa in the 1600’s

 The pot is heated using small amounts of wood or charcoal or, if fuel is scarce, twisted grass or even dried animal dung. The difference between a “potjie” and a stew is that a “potjie” is never stirred during the cooking process and is always cooked slowly over hot coals in a cast iron pan.


  • Seed Oil to cover the base of your potjie
  • 2.2 pounds Lamb (on the bone)
  • 2 Onions, chopped
  • 1 can of Diced Tomatoes
  • Chunks of Potatoes
  • Carrots, Baby marrows and Green Beans
  • 1 teaspoon Ginger
  • Garlic paste
  • Salt to taste
  • Black Pepper to taste
  • 3 Bay Leaves


  • Place the pot on the fire and heat the oil.
  • Add the onions and fry until soft and translucent.
  • Add the lamb, garlic paste and ginger and braise on all sides.
  • If the pot is too warm and the meat is burning, add a few tots of wine or water. Or reduce the fire by removing coals or wood
  • Add salt and black pepper.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and the bay leaves.
  • Put the lid on and gently simmer for approximately an 1 ½ hours
  • Add a layer of potatoes (swede) and the carrots and cook for about 30-40 minutes
  • Add baby marrows and the green beans.
  • Add a bit more salt and pepper to suit taste.
  • Ensure the meat is not burning by gently shaking the pot to see if there is enough liquid at the bottom of the potjie pot
  • Don’t stir the pot,
  • If unsure, add a bit more wine or water.
  • Replace the lid and simmer for another 20-30 minute
  • Remove from the heat and stir through gently using a big metal spoon
  • Serve hot with rice or couscous.

This lamb potjie recipe is the perfect dish to prepare for any occasion and is traditionally enjoyed around a warm fire on a cold winter evening

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