Battle of the Potjiekos Masters

This team's potjie: Chicken marrow accompanied by fruit bread.

This team’s potjie: Chicken marrow accompanied by fruit bread.

41 Potjiekos masters battled it out peacefully at the Potjiekos Competition at the Country Club in Melkbosstrand on Saturday.

The potjies were made in the time honoured way: Which means slowly. Really slowly.  “We started at 11 o’ clock,” the friendly woman who lives in Morning Star told around lunchtime. The chicken potjies would only be ready by 2 o’ clock and the red meat potjies by 3 o’ clock.

The event started off when the potjiekos judges came around to verify that all the eats were being made on site. The Morning Star lady and her hubby were making a chicken curry. A bowl of refreshing tzatziki and sambals were made on site this morning. A plate of the fragrant and spicy curry would be selling for only R20.

Nearby another friendly soul stood mixing the ingredients of “a fruit bread” in a bowl. His potjie was a chicken marrow potjie. He admitted “loving making potjies but hating cleaning up. That’s why I married!” Laughter all around.

The Island Guys: Tristan da Cunha pie consisting of 6 layers.

The Island Guys: Tristan da Cunha pie consisting of 6 layers.

Tristan da Cunha pie
The Island Guys were pulling out all the stops with their signature potjie. “We’re making a Tristan da Cunha pie,” the silver-haired guy explained. The pie had been named for his friend who worked for many years on the island. It consists of a layer of lamb, a layer of vegetables, a layer of potatoes, another layer of mutton, another layer of vegetables and finally the crust. 6 Layers. Sheer bliss!

The secret of a potjie lies in the slow preparation and relaxed pace that enable the cooks and guests to wind down. Relaxation was the rule of the day today and potjiekos enthusiasts/friends/families/groupies sat about on couches under the gazebos, shooting the breeze.

Team Morning Star: Chicken curry, tzatziki, sambals.

Team Morning Star: Chicken curry, tzatziki, sambals.

The lady sitting near the Tristan da Cunha guys mentioned that there was also waterblommetjie bredie on offer, and she mentioned another delicacy, but by that time it was too much info for even this foodie and I merely nodded.

At peace with missing out
Serious winding down was also the order of the day in the Country Club’s bar, but this seasoned hack resisted the allure and went home instead, and by doing so missed out on finding who the winner of the competition was. No matter, I am sure that all potjies are flavorsome even if some are more flavorsome than others.



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