A few weeks ago we were invited to Waylands for lunch. Visiting Mike and Lizette is truly a tonic for my soul, to have the pleasure of their company and experiencing their passion for what they do helps me to connect with my purpose, connecting farmers who are doing it right with an educated customer base who understand and value those excellent farming practices.
Going up onto a koppie on the farm and looking down at Waylands and the surrounding farms it’s clear to see which methods of farm management are the most effective especially now after a severe drought. On Waylands you can already see the green shoots emerging while the rest of the surrounding farmland is still brown and when you get up close the biodiversity is staggering, flowers starting to bloom, birds everywhere, a mongoose that crossed the lawn in front of us and small buck that share some of Mike’s grapes in the vineyard, they only ever take from the outside row, as Mike says the pleasure he gets from seeing them is worth way more to him than the grapes they eat.
Visiting the resident animals is one of our favourite activities on the farm and it’s actually a lot like a game drive. Seeing the pigs in their camp with their burrows, no pens, the sheep on the veld and the beautiful hardy Nguni cattle successfully making the most of the feed available on the land, it is so clear that the animals chosen for a holistic farming system are vitally important. This year, even with the drought, Mike’s herd produced a full compliment of calves which is a major indicator in how well they coped with the stress.
Ok enough with me geeking out over farming, now for the food!!
Mike and Lizette made us a potjie, but not just any potjie, this was an EPIC potjie, which was cooked over a fire, made fittingly in a fire pit made from a tractor wheel rim.
Epic Potjie Recipe – serves about 10 people
They used a flat bottomed 40cm pot.
4 Onions chopped
8 cloves garlic chopped
2 x 500g packs Waylands Pasture Raised Beef Mince
2 x 900g packs Waylands Pasture Raised Beef Shin
1 bottle white wine
1kg baby potatoes halved
1 large butternut roughly chopped
1 punnet mushrooms chopped
2 heads broccoli chopped into florets
1 bunch carrots roughly chopped
1 punnet courgettes roughly chopped
1.5 litres water
salt and pepper to taste
Oil or tallow for cooking
Heat pot over the fire and add the onions and garlic, cook until soft, remove to be added again after the meat is browned.
Brown all the meat in the pot, add the onions back in and deglaze with the wine.
Add the water, pop on the lid and allow to simmer until the meat is almost tender, this should take about 2 hours. The mince in the potjie was a revelation to me, it added flavour, body and texture to the finished stew.
Once the meat is almost falling off the bone, add the potatoes, carrots and butternut, when they’re almost soft add the mushrooms, courgettes and broccoli, season well after each addition. As soon as the veggies are done you’re ready to serve.
Serve with rice, millet or crusty bread!!