Tomato Oxtail Potjie


Tomato Oxtail Potjie

What is potjiekos?
Potjie is not a stew. A “potjiekos” (meaning “small pot food”) is a meal cooked in a cast-iron pot known as a “potjie” (pronounced “poi-kee”), but most South Africans refer to the dish itself as a potjie too. It usually consists of meat and veg and is prepared outdoors and cooked slowly over an open fire.
The number one rule of cooking with a potjie pot is: DO NOT STIR THE POT. As a result of this method, all the ingredients cook perfectly, but are not overly tainted by each other, so you experience different flavours and textures with each mouthful. You should also be able to visually identify all the ingredients, which is often not the case with a stew. This, together with the unique smoky flavour only achieved from cooking over a flame, is what makes potjie really special. 
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 3 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine South Africa
Servings 10


  • 1 No 3 Potjie


  • 1 kg Oxtail, cut into 5cm thick pieces
  • 10 slices Diced bacon, cut into 2.5cm pieces
  • 125 ml Flour, (½ cup), seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 4 cups Beef stock, (1 litre)
  • 2 tbsp Tomato paste, heaped
  • 1 can Halved cherry tomatoes, in sauce
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs Rosemary
  • 6 Large leeks, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Large onions, coarsely chopped
  • 6 Large carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 20 Button mushrooms, sliced in half
  • 1 tin Butter-beans
  • 1 cup Good red wine
  • 125 ml Sherry, (½ cup )
  • 125 ml Cream, (½ cup)
  • 2 tbsp Butter, (30ml)
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil, (30ml)
  • 2 tbsp Crushed garlic, (30ml)
  • 1 dash Salt and pepper, to taste


  • Prepare a direct fire and make sure you have hot coals for the start of the potjie.
  • Be sure to have a small fire on the side to add coals throughout the cooking process.
  • Dry oxtails with paper towel.
  • Put seasoned flour in a ziplock bag, then add the oxtail and shake to coat with flour.
  • Heat butter and olive oil and sauté bacon pieces.
  • Remove bacon and brown Oxtail in resulting fat, remove and drain.
  • Finely dice 4 of the carrots.
  • Coarsely chop the onions and the leeks.
  • Add the finely diced carrots, leeks, onions and sauté until softened.
  • Add oxtail, bacon, rosemary, bay leaves, garlic, tomato paste, tinned tomatoes, red wine, sherry.
  • Bring slowly to a boil and cook for 2-3 hours over low heat on the braai. Add some hot coals from the side fire every hour.
  • 1 hour before serving cut the remaining carrots into 1 inch pieces, add them and mushrooms and continue cooking slowly.
  • Just prior to serving, add cream and stir in. If you want to thicken the sauce, mix some cornstarch with the cream before adding.
  • Cook for 20 minutes before serving.
  • Can be served over Rice or Pap
Keyword Braai, Potjie, Potjiekos


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1 thought on “Tomato Oxtail Potjie

  1. 5 stars
    This is such a nice recipe. We cooked this yesterday and it was fantastic for dinner. Best potjie.

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