Oxtail Potjiekos

South African born Gavin first cooked this traditional dish when he was on a camping trip as a teenager. The former chef now hosts regular gatherings at his house in Dubai, where potjiekos (pronounced 'poy-key-kos'), is the star. It simply isn't Christmas in the Naude household without this delicious stew
Potjiekos by Gavin Naude
ITP Images
Potjiekos by Gavin Naude
November 27, 2018
Level Easy
Preparation Time 40 minutes
Cooking Time 3-4 hours
Serves 8

Where did the potjiekos course originate?
The voortrekkers [Boer pastoralists] in South Africa needed to cook every evening during the Great Trek in the 1830s. So they’d cook in one huge cast iron pot and feed everyone in the camp. Basically potjiekos is like a stew but cooked on an open fire.

What’s your twist to the recipe?
I add a packet of brown onion soup powder. Is oxtail the only kind of meat that can be used in this dish? Actually you can use lamb, beef, chicken, seafood, mushrooms…it’s a versatile dish.

PHOTO BY Efraim Evidor
RECIPE BY Gavin Naude


4 onions, sliced
6 cloves garlic, crushed
4kg browned oxtail
4kg browned oxtail
5 carrots, cubed
2 peppers, cubed
2 turnips, cubed
1 small butternut, cubed
2 packets baby corn
4 stalks celery, sliced
2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 packet fusilli
300ml chicken stock
1 packet brown onion soup power


  • 1

    Cover the base of the pot with the onions and garlic

  • 2

    Follow with the browned oxtail

  • 3

    Add the vegetables

  • 4

    Top it all with the pasta, then add the chicken stock and soup powder

  • 5

    Cover with the lid and cook over a slow fire for 3 to 4 hours



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