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Potjiekos Recipes Download

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Potjiekos Recipes

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Potjiekos (literally meaning pot food) has been part of South Africas culture for many centuries since the days of the first settlement at the Cape when food was cooked in a black cast-iron potjie pot hanging from a chain over the kitchen fire. Later the black pot accompanied the pioneers who moved into the country. As the Victorian era unfolded, so the delights of the bubbling black potjie pot made way for magnificent oven roasts, and later still the traditional braaivleis in the 1950s and 60s.

It is believed that the potjie came from the Dutch ancestors of the South Africans, who brought with them heavy iron cooking pots which hung from hooks over the open hearth. These cast-iron pots retained heat well and could be kept simmering over a few embers. Rounded, potbellied pots were used for cooking tender roasts and stews as they allowed steam to circulate instead of escape through the lid. The flat-bottomed iron pans heated more quickly and were used to bake crusty loaves of bread in Dutch ovens.

What sets potjiekos apart from these traditional cooking methods, is the fact that it is cooked outside. When the pot was moved from the kitchen hearth to a fire in the open bush, it became a potjie and part of the South African cooking heritage. The most common potjie is the rounded, potbellied, three-legged cast iron pot.

Potjiekos is uniquely South African, and is a friendly food, to be enjoyed by rich or poor, young and old, city-dwellers and country folk, needing only ones imagination when it comes to selecting the ingredients. Potjiekos is traditionally made around an open fire, preferably in the company of good friends, with one or more Potjies simmering away.

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