Time, plenty of it
A good glug of olive oil
A slab of beef short rib (ask the butcher to saw through the bones, but leave it whole), about 700g to 800g
2 large onions, sliced
2 more onions, quartered, or preferably baby or pearl onions
3 fat cloves garlic
3 carrots, diced
2 sticks celery, sliced
Plenty of fresh rosemary
A few thyme sprigs
200 g bacon, diced
200 g fresh button mushrooms or similar, whole or halved depending on how big they are
50 g tomato paste
3 Tbs flour
1 bottle Red wine (mine was Groote Post The Old Man’s Blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and shiraz)
200 ml beef stock
Plenty of ground black pepper
Salt to taste
Have hot coals ready and more wood burning nearby, but not too close to the potjie. Pour a glug of olive oil into the potjie and heat it over a few coals. When the oil is hot, add the sliced onion (not the small onions), garlic, carrots and celery. Simmer for a few minutes, then add the bacon dice, stirring to coat, and separate them (the bacon bits tend to stick together).
Add the tomato paste and stir well, and braise it for a few minutes, then add the rosemary and thyme, and sprinkle the flour all over. Stir for everything to be coated by the flour.
Now add the beef stock and red wine, season with salt and pepper, stir again, and lower the short rib in. Put the potjie lid on and simmer gently for three hours or more. After two hours, add the mushrooms and the peeled pearl onions or baby onions. Try not to interfere too much; the meat will be fine if it’s left alone. Just add more coals beneath the potjie and on top of the lid now and then to keep the gentle simmer going. Don’t overdo the coals. DM/TGIFood
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