• Explore the flavours of South Africa with this recipe of Ostrich potjie paired with onion and dried fruit pap. This dish combines the rich, gamey taste of ostrich with the sweet and savoury goodness of onions and dried fruit-infused pap. It’s a true celebration of South African cuisine, blending indigenous ingredients and traditional cooking techniques.

    Cook’s tip: Instead of 375ml red wine, you can use 185ml red wine and 185ml chicken stock.

    Ostrich potjie with onion and dried fruit pap

    Serves: 4
    Cooking Time: 4 hrs 30 mins + overnight for marinating


    • 1,5 kg ostrich neck, sliced
    • Marinade

    • 500ml (2 cups) red wine
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 1 large onion, sliced
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper,to taste
    • 30ml (2 tbsp) oil
    • 120g (1 cup) cake flour, plus 15ml (1 tbsp) extra
    • 4 leeks, sliced
    • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
    • 250g brown mushrooms, sliced
    • 250g bacon, chopped
    • 30ml (2 tbsp) green peppercorns, boiled and bruised
    • 750ml (3 cups) brandy
    • 50ml dry sherry, warm
    • 375ml (1½ cups) red wine
    • 30ml (2 tbsp) lemon juice
    • 15 fresh pickling onions, peeled
    • 15 small whole carrots
    • 8 small potatoes, peeled
    • 15ml (2 tbsp) milk
    • 250g spinach, cooked and chopped
    • 125ml (½ cup) sour cream
    • pinch of nutmeg salt, to taste
    • Onion and dried fruit pap

    • 1 onion, diced
    • 600ml water
    • 50g butter
    • salt, to taste
    • 500ml (2 cups) white mielie meal
    • 250ml (1 cup) dried fruit, diced and soaked overnight in 60ml (¼ cup) brandy



    Place the ostrich neck in a deep mixing bowl. Combine all the marinade ingredients and pour over the meat. Leave in the refrigerator to marinate overnight.


    Next day, heat the oil in the pot. Toss the meat in the flour, reserving 15ml (1 tablespoon) and brown the meat one batch at a time. Remove from the pot and set aside.


    Fry the leeks, garlic, rosemary, mushrooms, bacon and peppercorns in the same pot and return the meat to the pot.


    In a small saucepan, heat the brandy slightly, pour over the meat and ignite. Once the flames have died down, add the sherry, red wine and lemon juice.


    Reduce the heat, cover the pot and simmer until the meat is almost tender, about 2 hours 30 minutes.


    Layer the onions, carrots and potatoes on top of the meat, cover the pot with a lid and simmer for a further 45 – 50 minutes.


    Mix the reserved tablespoon of flour with the milk to form a paste. Mix together the spinach and sour cream and stir in the flour paste. Spoon this carefully over the stew. Season with the nutmeg and salt, cover and simmer for a further 15 minutes.


    For the pap, dry-fry the onion until golden and set aside.


    Boil the water in a pot with the butter and salt. Add the mielie meal and stir continuously with a wooden spoon until lump-free and well combined, about 10 minutes.


    Stir in the onions and soaked dried fruit. The pap should be thick and smooth, coming away from the sides of the pot to form a ball. Cook for a few more minutes before serving with the ostrich potjie.


    To drink: Backsberg Elba, an exotic blend that includes malbec, mourvèdre and sangiovese. Hearty, with herbal aromas and very smooth tannins.

    ALSO SEE: South African impala potjie

    South African impala potjie