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Friday braai day: Tomato bredie potjie with parsley pesto and potbrood

This is the tomato bredie potjie is tastiest, most flavourful potjie that you will ever make. I love lamb and using it in a potjie is just perfect, especially when you cook it on the bone with some marrow and fat. That is where all the flavour comes from and South Africa has some of the best lamb in the world.

By John Grundlingh

Today I will be teaching you to make a very typical Boland dish: tomato bredie potjie served with parsley pesto and bread. A potjie should never be rushed and needs to be enjoyed with friends and family.

You will need a number 3–5 tripod black or flat-bottom pot. Use rooikrans or doring wood when making a potjie because you will always have only 1 or 2 pieces of wood under the pot to keep it going and you will need wood that is long-burning and gives off a lot of heat.

Tomato bredie potjie

SERVES 8-10 // COOKING TIME 240 mins

For the tomato bredie potjie
1 kg lamb or mutton thick rib on the bones, cubed
20 ml olive oil
4 onions, peeled and chopped
5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 leek, finely chopped
2 star anise
20g tomato paste
400 ml dry white wine
800 ml passata
3 sprigs thyme
4 bay leaves
20g parsley
4 sprigs marjoram
50 ml fish sauce
20 ml soy sauce
50g Parmesan, grated
2 tbsp ground cumin
4 tbsp ground coriander
2 red chillies, finely chopped
6 cloves
10 cardamom pods
1 stick cinnamon
3 tbsp smoked paprika
40g brown sugar
1 lamb stock cube dissolved in 500 ml water
400g baby potatoes, peeled
Splash brandy
Salt and black pepper
For the parsley pesto
200g parsley
3 cloves garlic, peeled and blanched
6 anchovy fillets
50 ml olive oil
20g capers
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Salt and black pepper
For the potbrood
1 kg bread flour
10g instant dry yeast
60g salt
60g sugar
600 ml lukewarm water
20 ml olive oil
Flour, to dust
50g cornflour
Salt and black pepper
Ice, to steam
Butter, to serve

For the tomato bredie potjie
1. Heat your pot over the fire and fry the lamb in the olive oil in batches until browned. Remove lamb from the pot and set aside.
2. Add the onions, garlic, carrot, leek and star anise. Fry until caramelised and then remove the star anise.
3. Add the tomato paste and cook for 5 minutes.
4. Deglaze the pot with the wine.
5. Add the passata and the lamb and bring to the boil.
6. Tie the thyme, bay, parsley and marjoram leaves together or tie them in a piece of muslin. Drop them into the pot.
7. Add the fish sauce, soy sauce and Parmesan and stir well.
8. Add the cumin, coriander and chillies, and stir well.
9. Tie the cloves, cardamom and cinnamon stick in a piece of muslin cloth and add this to the pot along with the smoked paprika and sugar.
10. Add enough lamb stock to cover everything and let it simmer until the sauce is thick and the lamb is tender. Ladle the fat from the surface of the sauce every now and again, adding more stock as necessary.
11. Add the potatoes and cook for 20 minutes.
12. Add the brandy, stir well, and then season to taste.
For the parsley pesto
1. Add all the ingredients to a food processor and pulse until you reach your desired consistency.
For the potbrood
1. Combine the bread flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a large bowl.
2. Add the water and knead the dough for 10–15 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
3. Knead in the olive oil.
4. Cover with a damp cloth and allow to proof in a warm area for 30 minutes.
5. Knock it back, shape it into a loaf and move to a floured board. Cover it with a tea towel and allow to proof until doubled in size.
6. Preheat a kassie (or any 20L fireproof cooking pot with a loose-fitting lid) with a terracotta tile on a grid inside.
7. Brush the dough with a bit of water and slash the top decoratively with a sharp knife.
8. Sprinkle the cornflour over the tile and sprinkle the dough with salt and pepper.
9. Move the dough onto the tile and bake for 35 minutes, tossing ice into the kassie from time to time to add more steam.

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