What’s cooking today: Venison neck & guanciale potjie

By Tony Jackman 7 September 2021

Tony Jackman’s venison neck and guanciale potjie, photographed in our old blue Liebermann pots. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

Neck of blesbok, cured cheek and lard of pig. Amazing what can go together in a potjie.

Tony Jackman

Guanciale is Italian cured pork cheek, as opposed to pancetta which is cured pork belly. Griebenschmalz is German pork schmalz (lard). Blesbok, from the Karoo near my home, has fine game meat from a buck much smaller than kudu but larger than springbuck and rhebuck. I’ve written about blesbok here and here, and have since made biltong with it too. This past weekend I used slices of neck for a substantial potjie which will feed us more than once.


200 g guanciale, diced

1 Tbsp griebenschmaltz

1 red onion, diced

2 large carrots, diced

2 leeks, chopped

10 to 12 juniper berries

2 bay leaves

5 or 6 blades of mace

1 Tbsp cranberry jelly

2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

¼ cup red wine vinegar

½ cup sweet Sherry

Funky Ouma Black Garlic Pink Salt, to taste

Red cabbage, shredded

1 tsp black cumin (nigella) seeds

Game stock made with roasted bones and offcuts, 2 large carrots, 2 onions, 2 celery sticks, 4 or 5 leeks, 100 g tomato paste, plenty of water, and boiled down to 1 litre


Dice the guanciale, carrots, onions and leeks.

Heat a potjie over some hot coals and add 1 Tbsp griebenschmalz. When it has melted, add the diced guanciale and let it simmer until the dice of guanciale are nutty brown. Stir now and then.

Add all the diced vegetables with the bay leaves, juniper berries and mace, stir and simmer until the vegetables are softened. Stir now and then.

Add the meat, stir, and cook for 20 minutes. Stir so that all the meat is covered by the vegetables.

Pour in the game stock and add the Sherry, Worcestershire sauce, cranberry jelly and red wine vinegar. Season with Funky Ouma Garlic Pink Salt, to taste.

Cover and simmer for 2½ to 3 hours.

Serve with shredded red cabbage sautéed in 1 Tbsp griebenschmaltz with 1 tsp black cumin (nigella seeds), and season with some Funky Ouma Black Garlic Pink Salt.  (I bought my guanciale and griebenshmalz from Richard Bosman’s Quality Cured Meats.) DM/TGIFood

To enquire about Tony Jackman’s book, foodSTUFF (Human & Rousseau) please email him at [email protected]

SUBSCRIBE: There’s much more from Tony Jackman and his food writing colleagues in his weekly TGIFood newsletter, delivered to your inbox every Saturday. Subscribe here. Also visit the TGIFood platform, a repository of all of our food writing.


Comments - share your knowledge and experience

Please note you must be a Maverick Insider to comment. Sign up here or sign in if you are already an Insider.

Everybody has an opinion but not everyone has the knowledge and the experience to contribute meaningfully to a discussion. That’s what we want from our members. Help us learn with your expertise and insights on articles that we publish. We encourage different, respectful viewpoints to further our understanding of the world. View our comments policy here.

No Comments, yet


Foggers have ‘no role’ in preventing Covid, but IEC is still sending them to all voting stations – at taxpayers’ expense

By Greg Nicolson and Victoria O' Regan

Kalsarikännit is a Finnish word that translates to getting drunk at home alone. In your underpants.