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Red Meat

Tomato Lamb Potjie

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SERVES 8
DIFFICULTY easy
PREP TIME
BRAAI TIME 3 – 5 Hours
RATING

This is one of my favourite potjies – it’s delicious and filling for those cold, wintery Sunday afternoons – or any other time that I’m looking for a good excuse for an extended “kuier.”


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METHOD

  1. Fire up the Ketla by turning both burners onto high – and let the temperature get to 250 °C. If you want to add smoke, now is the time.
  2. Dust the lamb in seasoned flour, then seal and brown the knuckles on the grid. The part of the grid closest to the hinge is the hottest which is great for nice caramelisation, and closest to the controls is coolest. I love that a lot of the excess fat you get from grilling the lamb before putting it in the potjie, is caught in the Ketla drip tray – this means I don’t have to scoop fat off the top of the potjie while it’s cooking, plus, you can use that fat in a bit.
  3. Once the knuckles are sealed and browned, set them aside and switch off the Ketla to let it cool down.
  4. Using oven gloves or your tongs, take the grid off the Ketla, as well as the inner and outer cowls, then fire her up again. This time only light the inner burner (on high), then place your potijie on the three flat ridges that surround where the inner cowl used to be to heat up.
  5. Add a bit of the lamb fat that caught in the drip tray into your potjie, then add in the onion, garlic and leeks and fry until soft.
  6. Add the sealed lamb, the tomatoes and pour in the beef stock and a splash of red wine (it should cover about two thirds of the meat). Remember, the meat will also add moisture into the pot, so not too much stock please – it’s a potjie, not a stew.
  7. Add the dried herbs, salt and pepper, give it one stir and put the lid on the potjie.
  8. Close the hood, and reduce the heat of the Ketla to about 120 °C by using the vents to and dropping the inner burner to low to finely control the heat.
  9. Remember, the potjie should simmer until the meat falls off the bones – about 3 to 5 hours. It’s actually called the potjie pot whisper – if you can hear the pot bubbling – the heat is too high. Sometimes, I even turn the gas off, and let the potjie cook from all that retained heat in the cast iron… just don’t forget to put it back on.
  10. While the potjie is on the go, make the potato gnocchi.
  11. Rule Number 1 when making gnocchi: Potatoes and water don’t get along, so bake the potatoes on a bed of coarse sea salt (skin and all). You can do this in the Ketla by getting it to about 180 °C – and baking the potatoes for about 45 minutes.
  12. Once cooked, cut the potatoes in half and, using a spoon, scoop the fluffy insides into a mixing bowl.
  13. Put the potato through a Mouli (or just use a sieve) to mash it up nicely.
  14. And now the nasty bit. You want the potato to be as hot as your hands can handle because it gets the gluten in the flour working. You might end up with fried fingers, but it’s essential.
  15. Add the flour a little bit at a time, then the egg yolks and salt.
  16. While keeping your hand as stiff as possible, mix the flour into the potato by jabbing. What you’re looking for is a wettish but workable and pliable dough that almost sticks to your fingers. (If you’ve made dough for steamed bread before, it’s the same kind of consistency.)
  17. Once it’s mixed, roll it into sausage-like shapes (about 3 cm in diameter) and double wrap in cling film.
  18. To ensure it’s watertight, go the extra mile and tie the ends with string.
  19. Poach in simmering water for 15 – 30 minutes, shock in a bowl of iced water, and put in the fridge until needed.
  20. About 20 minutes before you’d like to eat, unwrap the gnocchi, slice into medallions, submerge in the potjie and leave to simmer and suck up all those juicy rich lamb and tomato flavours.
  21. Serve the potjie seasoned to taste with cracked black pepper and torn leaves of fresh basil. Grate Parmesan cheese over the top and tuck in.
  22. SERVE WITH: Good red wine

INGREDIENTS

2-3 kg Karoo Lamb Knuckles

1 Onion, chopped

3-4 Garlic Cloves, crushed

2-3 Leeks, sliced

2 tins good quality Baby Tomatoes

1 punnet Fresh Baby Tomatoes – kept whole

300-500 ml good quality Organic Beef Stock

a decent splash of Red wine

Sweet Basil, both dried and fresh

2 tbsp. Dried Oregano

Salt and Pepper, to taste

For the Gnocchi

1kg warm Dry Mashed Potato

300g ‘OO’ Flour

2 Egg Yolks

1 tsp. Salt

2-3 kg Karoo Lamb Knuckles

1 Onion, chopped

3-4 Garlic Cloves, crushed

2-3 Leeks, sliced

2 tins good quality Baby Tomatoes

1 punnet Fresh Baby Tomatoes – kept whole

300-500 ml good quality Organic Beef Stock

a decent splash of Red wine

Sweet Basil, both dried and fresh

2 tbsp. Dried Oregano

Salt and Pepper, to taste

For the Gnocchi

1kg warm Dry Mashed Potato

300g ‘OO’ Flour

2 Egg Yolks

1 tsp. Salt

  1. Fire up the Ketla by turning both burners onto high – and let the temperature get to 250 °C. If you want to add smoke, now is the time.
  2. Dust the lamb in seasoned flour, then seal and brown the knuckles on the grid. The part of the grid closest to the hinge is the hottest which is great for nice caramelisation, and closest to the controls is coolest. I love that a lot of the excess fat you get from grilling the lamb before putting it in the potjie, is caught in the Ketla drip tray – this means I don’t have to scoop fat off the top of the potjie while it’s cooking, plus, you can use that fat in a bit.
  3. Once the knuckles are sealed and browned, set them aside and switch off the Ketla to let it cool down.
  4. Using oven gloves or your tongs, take the grid off the Ketla, as well as the inner and outer cowls, then fire her up again. This time only light the inner burner (on high), then place your potijie on the three flat ridges that surround where the inner cowl used to be to heat up.
  5. Add a bit of the lamb fat that caught in the drip tray into your potjie, then add in the onion, garlic and leeks and fry until soft.
  6. Add the sealed lamb, the tomatoes and pour in the beef stock and a splash of red wine (it should cover about two thirds of the meat). Remember, the meat will also add moisture into the pot, so not too much stock please – it’s a potjie, not a stew.
  7. Add the dried herbs, salt and pepper, give it one stir and put the lid on the potjie.
  8. Close the hood, and reduce the heat of the Ketla to about 120 °C by using the vents to and dropping the inner burner to low to finely control the heat.
  9. Remember, the potjie should simmer until the meat falls off the bones – about 3 to 5 hours. It’s actually called the potjie pot whisper – if you can hear the pot bubbling – the heat is too high. Sometimes, I even turn the gas off, and let the potjie cook from all that retained heat in the cast iron… just don’t forget to put it back on.
  10. While the potjie is on the go, make the potato gnocchi.
  11. Rule Number 1 when making gnocchi: Potatoes and water don’t get along, so bake the potatoes on a bed of coarse sea salt (skin and all). You can do this in the Ketla by getting it to about 180 °C – and baking the potatoes for about 45 minutes.
  12. Once cooked, cut the potatoes in half and, using a spoon, scoop the fluffy insides into a mixing bowl.
  13. Put the potato through a Mouli (or just use a sieve) to mash it up nicely.
  14. And now the nasty bit. You want the potato to be as hot as your hands can handle because it gets the gluten in the flour working. You might end up with fried fingers, but it’s essential.
  15. Add the flour a little bit at a time, then the egg yolks and salt.
  16. While keeping your hand as stiff as possible, mix the flour into the potato by jabbing. What you’re looking for is a wettish but workable and pliable dough that almost sticks to your fingers. (If you’ve made dough for steamed bread before, it’s the same kind of consistency.)
  17. Once it’s mixed, roll it into sausage-like shapes (about 3 cm in diameter) and double wrap in cling film.
  18. To ensure it’s watertight, go the extra mile and tie the ends with string.
  19. Poach in simmering water for 15 – 30 minutes, shock in a bowl of iced water, and put in the fridge until needed.
  20. About 20 minutes before you’d like to eat, unwrap the gnocchi, slice into medallions, submerge in the potjie and leave to simmer and suck up all those juicy rich lamb and tomato flavours.
  21. Serve the potjie seasoned to taste with cracked black pepper and torn leaves of fresh basil. Grate Parmesan cheese over the top and tuck in.
  22. SERVE WITH: Good red wine

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