What’s cooking today: Beef short rib potjie

Tony Jackman’s beef short rib potjie served on a Mervyn Gers black pan plate. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

Short rib is a superb cut of beef. It has great texture, and a thin layer of fat and slim bones, both of which add to its flavour. It’s one of the best cuts of beef, yet is among the cheaper cuts.

Cooking a beef dish along the lines of a simple French peasant stew, but in a potjie, makes perfect sense, even if it’s not quite what the Voortrekkers would have done. But if you’ve followed my way with a potjie over the past three years you’ll know by now that I’ve forged my own way with the three-legged pot.

For this slow-day potjie I kept it simple, opting for the basic French/Italian method of braising with onion, carrot and celery and building up the dish from there.


800 g beef short rib

3 Tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 large carrots, peeled and diced

3 leeks, sliced

1 celery stick, sliced

2 red chillies, diced

3 garlic cloves, chopped

200 g bacon bits


500 ml beef stock

2 Tbsp ground dried citrus peel


Light the fire in advance and have lots of hot coals ready. Place coals under the pot, pour in the olive oil and when it’s hot, add the onions, celery, carrots and leeks and braise for 10 minutes or so, stirring with a wooden spoon now and then.

Add the chilli, garlic, rosemary sprigs and bacon bits and cook for 4 more minutes, stirring. Add the short ribs, stir to combine, pour in the beef stock and add the dried peel. Season with salt and pepper.

Put the lid on, refresh coals underneath and put a few more on the lid.

Keep it going for about 3 hours, adding coals as needed. Serve with rice or pap, or crusty bread. DM/TGIFood

Tony Jackman is the Galliova Food Writer of the Year 2021. His book, foodSTUFF, is now available in the DM Shop. Buy it here.

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Mervyn Gers Ceramics supplies dinnerware for the styling of some TGIFood shoots. For more information, click here.


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