What’s cooking today: Lamb and green olive potjie

Tony Jackman’s lamb and green olive potjie. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

Green olives and the brine they have steeped in are a winner for lamb slow-cooked in a potjie.

Olive brine, whether from a jar or sachet of black or green olives, is a fine thing to use when marinating lamb. It’s also good in a potjie, such as this one which also has garlic and rosemary. Most of us tend to favour black olives with a meat dish, but try green olives with this one; you may be very pleasantly surprised. I used plain green olives, not stuffed ones.


1 kg lamb pieces, such as neck and/or shanks, cut up

3 Tbsp olive oil

4 small red onions, quartered

3 garlic cloves, chopped

Zest of 1 small lemon

1 x 400 g can chopped tomatoes

200 g green olives including their brine

600 ml beef or lamb stock

Several sprigs of fresh rosemary

Salt and black pepper to taste


Brown the lamb pieces a few at a time in olive oil and remove to a side dish. When they’re all done, add the quartered red onions to the pot and cook them for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring now and then. 

Pour the chopped tomatoes into a jug with the stock and add the olive brine, lemon zest and chopped garlic.

Return the meat to the pot and pour in the stock.

Add the green olives and rosemary sprigs and season with salt and black pepper.

Put the lid on, put coals on the lid and keep coals below the potjie constantly. Cook gently for three hours, making sure to keep the heat of the coals steady at the base and on the lid. Serve with rice, couscous or mashed potato. DM/TGIFood

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

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