Monday, September 5, 2011

Oxtail to the left of us and lamb to the right...Potjie at Heia Safari Ranch

It was "potjie" tasting time for me at Heia Safari Ranch recently...and this is how it should be made...a Number 3 pot and a PROPER hardwood fire...
This is NOT how it is made...this particular contestant brought this pot of Oxtail and beans from home...was therefore not eligible to be included in the competition...

 Lying in bed looking at the thatch roof is both restful and almost hypnotic...I used the time to meditate on the task that lay ahead...
For the uninitiated, a 'potjie' is basically a stew that is prepared in a cast iron pot over a wood(or gas) fire...meat and veggies are mixed in layers and often bread is also prepared in a separate pot...in this case dumplings were being added to this concoction! And they were superb!
 some of the Heia Safari Ranch family...the 'strange' looking Zebra is in fact a Zonkie(sterile croos Zebra/Donkey)...it is about 30 years old and to the best of my knowledge the last one in Gauteng...
 Even the resident Giraffe was eating...
 This small Wagtail was taking it's morning walk along the Franz Richter Dam wall
 the newly painted bungalows basking in the early Spring sunlight...
 Guinea fowls scratching for breakfast...
 I am not sure who was more surprised, this young Impala or me...
 This Pied Kingfisher was searching for a meal along the banks of Lake Heritage...
 "What is going on"?
 The competitors started early...
 I decided to have a small breakfast in the restaurant as I was aware of what lay ahead...
 some people were cooking breakfast while they waited for their lunch potjies to cook
 I discovered this wonderful Aloe as I was walking from our bungalow to the event...
 and, as per usual, my wife discovered a massage that was on offer...and she relaxed while I wandered around taking photographs and chatting to the teams...
 The winning team(Go Safari) dressed up as Pirates...
This team really went out of their way to make sure that their area was the best dressed...just a pity that they also produced the worst potjie...
 this is how NOT to make a potjie...bully beef, cabbage and badly cooked potatoes...YUCK! By far the worst dish of the event...but they did present it well :
 Not sure if this Zebra is yawning or shouting at the guests to get out of the way...
 people never seem to tire of taking pictures of the Zebra drinking at the pool
 Many thanks to the event sponsor...
 this is the best braai (barbeque) ever...an old 44 gallon drum cut in half and an old burglar bar as the grid!
 these are the tools of the trade...a Number 3 potjie and a ladle...I am not certain about the gas bottle as I believe that a proper potjie should be done on a wood fire
 even this youngster seems to be taking it all very seriously...

 Original music was a surprise addition to the great music that was played on the PA system...Sunday morning reggae...yay!

 I van and Gaby(my co-judges) taste the first of many 'pots'...no an easy job but someone had to do it! Luckily we all watched Masterchef Australia and Gaby had just recently been a judge at a similar event...
How is this for a touch of originality...Bill Harrop uses his burners to add the finishing touch to his "potjie"
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