Chilli con carne potjie with cornbread topping

This family favourite is an adaptation of a Nigella Lawson recipe; it can also be cooked on a stove with the crust baked in the oven at 180ºC.

Makes: 1 full no. 6 flat-bottomed potjie

Preparation time: 30 minutes 

Cooking time: about 2 hours

30ml olive oil

2 large onions, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

±2 red chillies, chopped

5ml chilli powder or 2 dried chillies, chopped

5ml each finely ground coriander, cumin and dried oregano

2 cardamom pods, crushed

1 bay leaf

1 each red and green peppers, cut into strips

1kg beef mince

2 large carrots, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

250ml stock or beer

2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes

40ml tomato paste

2 blocks dark chocolate

2 x 400g tins kidney beans

Mealie bread (Nigella’s with a twist)

5ml salt

650g mealie meal

60ml cake flour

30ml baking powder

pinch each cinnamon and nutmeg

750ml buttermilk

4 eggs

30ml honey

20ml oil

1 tin corn kernels, drained

150g mature cheddar, coarsely grated

1 Heat the oil in the potjie over moderate coals and stir-fry the onions and garlic until soft. Then add the chillies, chilli powder and spices and mix. Next, stir in the peppers and mince, breaking up the meat as you brown it. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for about an hour and 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2 For the topping Mix the salt, mealie meal, cake flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl. Beat the buttermilk, eggs, honey and oil in a jug, and then stir this into the dry ingredients along with the corn kernels. Remove the bay leaf from the potjie and spoon the mealie bread mixture on top as evenly as possible. Sprinkle the cheese over and then cover.

3 Now spread coals on the lid and ‘bake’ the crust for about 30 minutes; it’s important to keep topping the lid with fresh coals to maintain the heat. Insert a cake tester to ensure the crust is done. Then allow the potjie to rest for 5 minutes before serving with avocado, sour cream and fresh coriander.

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April 2023

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