nav-left cat-right

Oxtail potjie |

Oxtail potjie

Oxtail potjie

Cooking oxtail needs time and patience and a potjie is the perfect method to get that fall off the bone oxtail that I just love. This is a really fantastic recipe that turned out really tender. It takes all the willpower you can muster not to keep opening the potjie to see how its doing and breathe in the awesome aromas so prepare yourself with good friends and a few beers, put it on and just tend to the fire every now and then. Here is an oven made Oxtail Recipe as well.(6 people comfortably)

What you need

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)
½ 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
½ cup sherry
50g butter
Olive oil
Fresh Mixed herbs, about 10 stalks tied together that you can remove easily or a bouquet garni.

The process

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.

It’s a South African institution the Potjie so get your friends around and give it a try.

The same recipe can be used for lamb neck, lamb knuckles or beef shin. Here is a traditional oven made Oxtail recipe.

Bad breath getting you down? There is a solution! >>


20 Responses to “Oxtail potjie”

  1. Lou Corbitt says:

    Graham old buddy you once had a recipe for oxtail with red wine and coke {the type you drink} It was heaven to eat and all friends loved it have you still got it ???????????Lou

  2. Ang says:

    Hi – Great recipe, going to put it to the test this weekend, but how many people does it serve?


    • Graham says:

      Hi Ang, 6 people is a good number for this recipe, it does say so at the end of the intro! Have a lekker day, let us know how it worked out, Cheers G

  3. Abby says:

    I bought oxtail and it is the first time that i am going to cook it – i will try the potjie idea as i am sure it will be the best way to go about cooking it. What will be better to serve it with rice or mash? and what will you recommend for a desert that is perfect for summer not to rich or heavy as the meal it self will be rich?? Any suggestions?

  4. Carel Grimbeek says:

    I’m arranging a Potjie Competition for our Church, any sugestions where to start? Any ideas for itt? Thanks Carel

    • Graham says:

      If you have potjie lovers in your church chances are they all have their favorite recipe and all of the equipment. You could perhaps get a sponsor like your local supermarket and feed the homeless who form part of the judging panel. Food, sun, and a warm hearted comunity… can’t ask for much more. Have a great time G

  5. Adrian Bill says:

    Hey Gramps,
    Stumbled across your potjie tips and was rather impressed!
    Going to try your oxtail version tomorrow and will keep you posted!

    • Graham says:

      Adi my man, been years since I last saw you. Will remind you of the good ol days back in SA.. You coming out anytime soon?

  6. Althea says:

    Hi G, just did this on Wednesday, but the caterer/cook in me just gotta give a few tips here, 1. try to remove as much fat off the tail as you can,makes it less rich, 2. bake the meat in the oven at about 150degrees c for about 3 hours, and then you just have the time of all the other ingredients being cooked with you veg and herbs about half an hour to wait and you can serve, 3. if you cant use wine, replace with verjuice and the sherry with a fruit juice, it falls off the bone and is just right for this weather! have a swell weekend!

    • Graham says:

      Thanks Althea, we can always do with some expert advice. I like the idea of getting it pre prepared but sometimes you just want to kick back and do the whole therapeutic long braai thing with plenty of beers… you have a great weekend too. G

    • Kay says:

      Hi Althea, a little advice please. I have been cooking oxtail for years (the long way). I have limited time tomorrow, I don’t have a pressure cooker, can I precook in the microwave for say 30 min @ 900w.
      Oh and yes, we do eat oxtail all year round.
      Thx a mil!!

  7. barbara says:

    I cheat a little and pre-cook the oxtail in a pressure cooker for approx 45 minutes as the crowds can’t wait that long and by the time the potjie is ready we are all plonked!

    • Graham says:

      I didn’t want to say it but that is the danger.. hahaha. Great idea, then just an hour or so of cooking I expect.

  8. barbara says:

    Love you G !!!! this sounds absolutely awsome. You have left me with so many choices for the weekend but I think I will go this route and finish with the Cherry Sauce and Ice Cream. Thanks a mil once again!!

Leave a Reply