Best lamb potjiekos recipes in South Africa: yummy recipes to try

Best lamb potjiekos recipes in South Africa: yummy recipes to try

  • The meal is named after a traditional cooking vessel used on an outdoor wood fireplace.
  • The Dutch brought this meal from the Netherlands to Mzansi in the 17th century.
  • South Africans use different lamb curry potjiekos recipes to achieve unique flavours.
  • Award-winning cookbook author Neo Nontso shared with key ingredients and spices that give traditional lamb potjiekos its distinctive flavour.
Best lamb potjiekos recipes
Lamb potjiekos served on a plate. Photo:, @zweifelsfreimitb
Source: UGC

Winning potjie recipes for lamb meat make delicious and tender dishes. Some people use beef, pork, etc., in their recipes. Create unforgettable memories with friends and family by making Potjie outdoors in the evenings. Use a recipe that is easy to follow and makes everyone participate in the cooking.

Best lamb potjie recipes in South Africa

Anyone can prepare a delicious Potjie with minimal cooking experience. Discover different ways of making Potjiekos taste great from this article.

Quick tip from a professional chef

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Neo Nontso unravelled key ingredients and spices that give traditional lamb potjiekos its distinctive flavour:

Curry powder, beef or lamb stock, and tomatoes! You need all the flavour from the curry powder, beef or lamb stock will give it depth and colour, tomatoes will give it a little tang while thickening the gravy! I never make a potjie without these!

Collect all the ingredients for a smooth cooking experience and use any of these easy and savoury traditional lamb potjie recipes:

1. Savoury lamb Potjie recipe

Here is one of the best lamb potjie recipes. Traditional South Africans uphold it with high esteem. It is the best to use when cooking potjie for the first time.


  • Butter or olive oil
  • 1 stick of chopped celery
  • 2 sliced or chopped onions
  • 500 g potatoes
  • Pepper and salt
  • 1.5 kg lamb meat on the bone
  • 1 kg of chopped tomatoes
  • 5 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • ½ cup cream, optional fresh herbs
  • 3 cloves of garlic and ginger, all chopped in equal volumes
  • 1 tot or 15 g of masala – can be omitted
  • Any interesting vegetables, for instance: baby marrow, green beans, mushrooms, sweet potato, and peppers

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best lamb potjie recipes
Cutting lamb meat. GIF:, (modified by author)
Source: UGC


  • Place the potjiekos pot over a flame to heat the butter or olive oil.
  • Add the onions, celery, garlic, and ginger and fry them for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the masala to spice up the meal even more.
  • Simmer the Potjie by placing some coals below it.
  • Add the lamb and cook it until it is brown on all sides, adding a few tots of water/wine to lessen the burning effect.
  • Grind salt and pepper into the meat and add tomatoes when it turns brown.
  • Place a lid over and continue simmering for about 60 minutes.
  • Add the cooked carrots and potatoes, and sprinkle salt and pepper on top.
  • Do not stir the pot yet, but always ensure the bottom has enough supply of water/wine to avoid burning.
  • Replace the lid and continue simmering for another 60 minutes.
  • Add vegetables that can be eaten raw, including mushrooms and peppers.
  • Replace the lid and simmer for another 30 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the flame and add fresh herbs and cream for 5 minutes before serving with fresh baguettes and rice.

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2. Lamb potjie recipe with red wine

lamb curry potjiekos recipes
Meaty lamb Potjiekos on a plate and bowl. Photo: @food24, @paarman (modified by author)
Source: UGC

You will love this easy finger-licking lamb Potjiekos recipe. It will help you make a mouth-watering dinner delicacy for four people.


  • Cooking oil
  • 2 chopped onions
  • Salt and pepper
  • 10 patti pans
  • 5 sliced carrots
  • 10 baby potatoes, peeled
  • 800 g of lamb meat
  • 250 g mushrooms
  • 1 bunch of half-cut green beans
  • A glass of red wine (optional)
  • 3 mielies, each cut into 3 pieces
moroccan lamb potjie
Stirring the meat as it cooks over low heat. GIF:, (modified by author)
Source: UGC


  • Heat oil in a pot and add onions.
  • Fry until the onions are brown.
  • Add meat and season them to taste.
  • Add water to cover the meat and reduce the heat.
  • Add the red wine if you prefer, then simmer the meat for about 60 to 90 minutes.
  • Add mielies and potatoes alongside other veggies that take longer to cook.
  • Add brown onion sauce and mushroom, and then add chutney to cover the meat in the pot. Simmer with the lid in place.
  • Add patti pans, mushrooms, and green beans in layers to the halfway done veggies.
  • Add some more sauce and salt if necessary.
  • Do not stir the pot, and ensure the pot's base has enough cooking liquid.

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3. Moroccan lamb potjie

winning potjie recipes
Lamb knuckle Potjie in bowls. Photo: @abelandcole, @momsdinner (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Lamb knuckle Potjie is one of the best meals for dinner. Most restaurants in South Africa have it on their menus. Use this recipe to learn how to make the knuckle potjie for two.


  • Seasoned flour
  • 250 ml prepared lamb stock
  • 4 sliced celery sticks
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1.2 kg lamb knuckles, sawn in slices
  • Olive oil
  • 2 large chopped onions
  • 2 red diced peppers
  • 6 finely chopped garlic cloves
  • 2 large sliced carrots
  • 15 ml smoked paprika
  • 2 x 410 g cans tomato relish
  • Dried red chilli flakes
  • Chopped parsley
  • Salt, sugar, and freshly ground black pepper
Best lamb potjiekos recipes in South Africa: yummy recipes to try
Cutting onions and preparing other potjiekos ingredients. GIF:, (modified by author)
Source: UGC


  • Dredge the meat inside the flour and shake off any excess flour.
  • Shallow fry the meatballs until they are brown and set them aside.
  • Heat oil in a large saucepan and sauté the vegetables until they soften.
  • Now, add the bay leaves, smoked paprika, and garlic.
  • Stir thoroughly and add the stock, meat, and canned tomatoes.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the flame.
  • Let it simmer for about 90 minutes for the meat to become tender.
  • Check the water level at the pot's base and add more if necessary.
  • Ensure you have a thick sauce at the end of your cooking.
  • Adjust the seasoning based on your preferences.
  • Sprinkle the remaining ingredients on top.
  • Serve with a meal of your liking.

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4. Tomato lamb neck Potjie

lamb potjie recipe red wine
Tomato lamb neck Potjie served on plates. Photo: @cookinglight, @donalskehan (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Every mutton Potjie recipe has a unique taste. The tomato lamb neck Potjie is among the best recipes to try out. It brings out many beautiful flavours.


  • 2 butterflied certified natural lamb necks
  • 4 slices cloves of garlic
  • 1 punnet of mushrooms
  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • 4 sweet potatoes cut into rounds
  • 500 ml vegetable or lamb stock
  • 4 quartered onions
  • 1 punnet baby tomatoes
  • 4 whole tomatoes
  • ½ big butternut or 1 small butternut cubed and peeled
what to serve with lamb potjie
Press down vegetables poured on top of lamb meat gently and let it continue to cook. GIF:, (modified by author)
Source: UGC


  • Cut the butterflied neck into pieces.
  • Roll the lamb cuts in seasoned flour using pepper and salt and prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  • Make the coal or fire hotter, then heat the oil in the pot.
  • Add lamb neck meat to the pot and fry until it is brown.
  • Add vegetable or lamb stock, garlic, onion, tomatoes and tomato paste.
  • Add brown sugar to attain better tomato flavours.
  • Close the lid and cook the mixture on low heat for around 3 hours. Let the Potjie bubble and avoid stirring it.
  • Add a layer of vegetables to the pot. Begin with long-cooking veggies at the bottom, add enough stock, and cover the pot.
  • Cook for about 30 minutes and season to taste.
  • Serve the delicacy with fresh brown loaves.

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5. Malay lamb curry potjie

What do you serve with potjiekos?
Malay lamb curry potjie. Photo: @eatsimplefood, @foodlovermarket (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Use this mutton Potjie recipe whenever you have non-vegan guests. Flaunt your cooking skills when you get the chance. Here is how you can prepare a Malay lamb curry potjie.


  • 30 ml sunflower oil
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 10 ml sugar
  • 2 large thinly sliced onions
  • 1 kg lamb knuckles
  • 10 ml freshly grated ginger
  • 60 ml freshly chopped coriander
  • 10 ml crushed garlic
  • 2 large finely chopped tomatoes
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 4 peeled and quartered medium potatoes,
  • 5 ml each ground cumin, turmeric, coriander, and chilli powder
Can you cook potjie on stove?
Adding another layer of vegetables into the pot. GIF:, (modified by author)
Source: UGC


  • Place half of the sunflower in a Potjie pot and heat gently.
  • Lightly brown the meatballs and set them aside.
  • Heat the other half of the oil and cook the onions until golden brown.
  • Add the spices and garlic, and then fry them for a couple of minutes.
  • Now, return the meat to the Potjie.
  • Add 250 ml of water to the mixture, place the lid back on and continue cooking on a medium flame for 90 minutes.
  • Add the sugar and tomatoes and cook further for 10 minutes.
  • Add the potatoes and cook until the meat mixture is tender for about 40 minutes.
  • Add fresh coriander and then season to taste using ground pepper and salt.

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What does potjiekos mean?

Potjiekos is a traditional South African three-legged cast-iron cooking pot with a lid. The pot is used in an open wood fireplace.

What does potjiekos mean?
Serving lamb potjiekos with rice. GIF:, (modified by author)
Source: UGC

How many does a potjie feed?

A size two potjie serves 6-8 persons, a size three is enough for 12-16 adults, and a size four feeds 18-24 people. Buy one that cooks enough food for more people than your family size.

What to serve with potjiekos

You can serve potjie with these meals:

  • Spiced rice
  • Plain steamed rice
  • Noodles
  • Vegetable salads
  • Potato salads
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Bakes sweet potatoes
  • Bread

Can you cook potjie on the stove?

You can cook potjie anywhere (indoors or outdoors) over any heat source or appliance.

How do you make a layered potjie?

Throw all the ingredients in the cooking pot in layers. Do not stir the potjie until the meal is ready so that all the flavours mix. Place the fire (coals or firewood) outside the pot's legs so that ingredients at the bottom do not burn before those at the top are fully cooked.

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The above lamb Potjiekos recipes are common in South Africa. You can play around with the recipe to attain attractive and tasty Potjiekos meals. Follow directions and timings provided in these sweet Potjiekos to make them taste great.

READ ALSO: 10 easy mince recipes in South Africa also posted 10 easy mince recipes in South Africa. Discover different ways Mzansi natives prepare mince meat meals.

Minced meat cooks quickly and is easy to chew. It is good for children, the elderly, and people with dental health conditions like weak jaws, dental carries, and aching teeth.

Source: Briefly News

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