Siba's Lamb neck Potjiekos Picture: Christopher Heierli (C+D Photography)

It's Father's Day this Sunday and what better way to spoil your ol’ man than to fill his tummy with a yummy homecooked meal?

If I may change the tone for a moment, it’s no secret that all men – the good ones included – have been getting a bad rap following all the negativity of the last few months (#menaretrash movement).

Truth is, not “all men are the same” and certainly not all of them are trash .

We should all take the opportunity, this Sunday, to remind the good men in our lives how much they are appreciated.

Bake a cake, surprise him with breakfast in bed, spoil him with a delicious lunch or some of his favourite treats.

June is also Men’s Health Month, so perhaps surprise him with a gym membership and a healthy eating plan (I kid).

My stepdad is a sucker for braai meat and sweet things, so no prizes for guessing what’s on my mom’s menu this Sunday.

I have never had as much braai meat as I do now that Uncle Sidney’s around.

He would braai all day and every day if my mother would let him.

One of Uncle Sidney’s favourite sweet treats is shop-bought snowballs.

Dry as it may be at times, he shopping trips are not complete without his snowballs

After hours of shopping with my mom (bless is patient soul) he’ll take out his dry snowballs, escape into the bedroom, usually to hide from my daughter, and have his snowball with a cup of tea.

Whatever you have planned for your dad on Sunday, may it be special.

And a Happy Father’s Day to all the daddies who, just like the mommies, go above and beyond in this crazy world to make sure your boys and girls are loved, cared for and protected. 

Make Father's Day extra special with this old South African favourite. 

Siba's Lamb neck Potjie

(Recipe by Siba Mtongana from her self published cookbook, My Table.)


600g lamb neck chops

60ml plain flour

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp smoked paprika

2 tsp ground coriander

2 tsp garlic and rosemary dry seasoning mix

30 ml (2 tablespoons) canola oil

2 onions, halved and sliced

2 celery sticks, sliced

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 large green pepper, cored and diced

2 tsp (heaped) tomato paste

400g canned chopped tomatoes, chopped

800ml chicken stock, to cover

Salt and pepper

8 baby carrots, washed but left whole

6 baby potatoes, halved

6-8 small tomatoes on the vine 

5 small pickled onions 

Serve with crusty white bread

Fresh parsley to garnish


In a large bowl mix together the flour, spices and rosemary seasoning.

Mix the lamb neck with the flour and spices to coat then set aside.

Traditionally this is cooked in a cast iron pot over coals outdoors but you can cook it in any heavy based pan and it would work over a barbecue or outdoor range or on the stove indoors.

Heat the canola oil and add the lamb and brown the meat for 4 minutes.

Add the onion, celery, half the garlic and green pepper and sauté for 5 minutes.

Add any of the remaining seasoned flour from the meat and cook out for a minute – this will help thicken the stew.

Stir in the tomato paste and canned tomatoes.

Pour in the stock and season with salt and pepper.

Simmer for 2 hours stirring every 20 to 30 minutes and replenishing with water if needed, until the meat is tender.

Throughout the cooking time check heat is not too high and adjust as necessary.

Add the potatoes, carrots and the rest of the garlic and cook for a further 20 minutes until the veggies are cooked but still firm.