My favourite oxtail potjie recipe

Posted by Cameron Ewart-Smith on 17 June 2011

There’s nothing better in winter than an oxtail potjie. Here’s my favourite recipe for this South African dish.

Photo: Gallo Images



Serves 4 – 6

  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Olive oil
  • 1 kg oxtail pieces, as lean as possible
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 small butternut
  • 1 tin cherry tomatoes or whole peeled tomatoes
  • 250 ml red wine
  • 1 litre beef or vegetable stock
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 2 tsp mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp course ground black pepper
  • 1 sprig parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbs chives, chopped


Cooking method

Put flour, salt, paprika, coriander and pepper into a plastic bag and toss together with oxtail pieces so the meat is evenly coated. Heat a generous glug of olive oil (about 3 tbs) in a large flat-bottomed potjie or heavy bottomed pan. Add onion and garlic and fry for a few minutes until just turning brown. Add the floured oxtail and brown all over. Retain seasoned flour left in the bag in case you need to thicken the stew later.

Once the meat is sealed, add red wine, mixed herbs and half the stock. Cover the pot and cook slowly on a very low heat for three hours. (This meal is best cooked with a few beers or a good bottle of wine to hand and some mates to help pass the time – ed.) Every so often, check to see that there’s enough fluid and add stock to prevent it drying out. The meat should be covered but not drowned. After three hours, add the veggies and cook for another hour until they’re soft and beginning to disintegrate into the gravy. Keep checking to ensure there’s enough moisture. When ready, sprinkle chopped chives and parsley over the stew and serve on a bed of rice.

Wine suggestion:
Harry Reginald Haddon, Getaway wine blogger, says go Cab or go home when it comes to the oxtail stew.  His top suggestion is the Man Vintners Cabernet Sauvignon, described by the farm as being in a “˜pin-stripe suit with high-top sneakers’ – a damn good description.


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