Short-rib potjiekos

This recipe is from Afrikaans food icon Peter Veldsman’s 1980s cookbook. The dried fruit cooks away to leave a tangy sweet sauce that cuts through the fattiness of the fall-off- the-bone meat.

More than 2 hours

Serves 6-8


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Spice mix:

  • 3 Tbsp (45ml) ground coriander
  • 2 tsp (10ml) cumin seeds, toasted
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 tsp (5ml) each ground ginger, mustard seeds and turmeric
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 sprig fresh curry leaves (optional)


  • 2kg beef short-ribs
  • Salt and milled pepper
  • Glug canola oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3cm knob ginger, peeled and grated
  • 3 red chillies, whole (or halved, if you prefer it hotter)
  • 3 cups (750ml) beef stock
  • 200-300g dried fruit (such as sultanas, Turkish apricots or pitted prunes), halved if large
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, cored and grated
  • ½ cup (125ml) desiccated coconut
  • Rice and chopped parsley, for serving



  1. Combine spice mix spices and crush using a pestle and mortar. 
  2. Season meat well.
  3. Heat oil in a cast-iron potjie and brown meat in batches. Remove and set aside.
  4. Sauté onions in a potjie over medium coals for 8-10 minutes.
  5. Add spice mix, garlic, ginger and chillies, and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Return meat to potjie and top up with stock. Season.
  7. Simmer over a medium heat for 1 hour.
  8. Add dried fruit, apple and coconut, and simmer for another hour. (It’s ready when the meat is tender and falling off the bone, and the sauce has thickened.)
  9. Serve potjiekos on rice, garnished with parsley.


Browse more braai recipes here.


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