Rich Oxtail Potjie with Chargrilled Mielies

This is a wonderfully rich, wholesome oxtail potjie, cooked in plenty of red wine and a hint of smoky harissa. Lightly chargrilled mealies add an extra depth of flavour to this delicious one pot meal.


Cooking Methods

  • Braai


    2 kg oxtail joints
    4 tbsp flour
    4 cloves garlic finely chopped
    3 celery stalks sliced
    3 tbsp olive oil
    1 tin tomatoes
    1 cup tomato purée
    1 tbsp harissa paste (*see notes belwo)
    750 ml red wine
    2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
    3 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
    10 - 12 pickling onions peeled
    1 1/2 cups peeled baby carrots
    10 - 12 baby potatoes, skins on
    1 1/2 cups button mushrooms
    2 mealies cleaned and cut into thirds
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves
    2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
    200 ml water
    Freshly ground salt and pepper


    Prepare a fire with wood, briquettes or charcoal making sure you have enough hot coals for the start of your potjie and to add to it.
    Pat the cleaned oxtail joints with paper towel, then lightly dust them with flour.
    Heat the pot on the fire, add the olive oil and lightly brown the oxtail pieces, taking care not to burn them.
    Once the meat is sealed, remove them from the potjie.
    Stir in the garlic and celery and cook for a minute or two.
    Place the browned oxtail pieces back in the pot.
    Add the tinned tomatoes, tomato purée, harissa paste, red wine, Worcestershire sauce and sweet chilli sauce.
    Stir in the ground cinnamon and chopped fresh herbs.
    Season with freshly ground salt.
    Place the lid on and simmer, over a moderate to low heat, for approx 2 hours.
    Check occasionally to see if water may need to be added.
    The meat should just be covered with liquid, not drowned.
    At this stage add, the baby onions, baby potatoes, baby carrots, button mushrooms and cook for another hour, until the meat begins to fall off the bone.
    About twenty minutes before the end of your cooking time, lightly chargrill the mealies and add them to the pot.
    If desired, sprinkle with freshly chopped coriander.
    Serve with steaming hot rice.


Homemade Harissa Paste:

If you cannot get store-bought Harissa, you can make your own Harissa paste in advance. Click here for a homemade Harissa recipe.