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IMG_6610A bredie is a type of stew, slowly simmered for several hours and its seasonings include cinnamon, cardamon, ginger, cloves as well as chilli. The type of vegetable used gives it its name, so tomato bredie would be a tomato stew, but it would include a meat as well, in this case, usually lamb. A few common ones are: green pea bredie, green bean bredie, cabbage and sweet turnip, waterblommetjie (Cape water lilly), carrot and turnip, brown lentil, pumpkin and many others. Bredies are eaten as everyday family meals with a variety of ingredients used and always deliciously spiced. It is actually of Dutch origin. Bredie is the Afrikaans word for stew, but it is a word of Malaysian origin. This form of cooking was first introduced to the Cape by Malays, who were brought to the then colony in most cases as slaves. The word bredie referred to oriental spinach originally.
Do not be put off by the seemingly long list of ingredients, most are spices.

IMG_6599IMG_6603IMG_6604IMG_6606Serves 6


1 kg / 2 pounds lamb or mutton, cubed
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 onions, diced
5 garlic cloves, crushed
1 carrot, finely diced
2 sticks celery, finely sliced
1 leek, finely diced (optional)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
400 ml / 1 1/5 cups dry white wine
2 cans of tomatoes (410 g / 14 oz each)
2 bay leaves
A few fresh parsley sprigs
1 sprig thyme
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
6 cloves
6 cardamon pods
1 stick of cinnamon
500 ml / 2 cups lamb or beef stock
8 to 10 new potatoes, peeled
1 to 2 tablespoons brandy
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Season the lamb with salt and pepper
Heat the oil in a large, heavy bottomed casserole or dutch oven over medium high heat
Brown the meat in batches and set aside
Sautรฉ the onions, garlic, carrot, celery and leek over low heat until the onions are soft
Add the tomato paste
Pour in the wine and the canned tomatoes
Bring to the boil and add meat
Tie the thyme, bay leaves and parsley together to make a bouquet garni and add to the pot
Add the cumin, coriander, chilli, sugar and smoked paprika
Tie the rest of the spices (cloves, cardamon and cinnamon) in a piece of cheesecloth and add to the dish
Pour in the stock, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the sauce has thickened and the lamb is tender – 2 to 3 hours
Skim any fat off the surface
Add the potatoes and cook another 20 minutes or so, until soft
Add the brandy
Taste for seasonings
Serve with rice and a glass of good South African Merlot