Bredie

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Soup | Bredie

(South African lamb stew)

Bredies are simple, traditional South African mutton stews in the Cape Malay tradition. The most popular are green bean bredie, tomato bredie and cabbage bredie. A basic bredie recipe is listed here, with the more common variations below. (Tip: A bredie will always taste better served the day after it is made.)

Image Creative Commons by guido961

4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • Stewing mutton or lamb, cut into cubes -- 1 1/2 pounds
  • Oil -- 3 tablespoons
  • Onion, chopped -- 1
  • Seasonings (see variations) -- to taste
  • Water or white wine -- 1/2 cup
  • Vegetables (see variations) -- 1 pound
  • Potatoes, cubed -- 3
  • Salt and pepper -- to taste

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high flame. Add the mutton or lamb in batches and brown well. Remove to a plate and set aside.
  2. Add the onion and desired seasonings to the pot and saute until the onions are cooked down and just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add back the browned meat and pour in the water or wine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to very low, cover tightly, and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Stir in the desired vegetables, potatoes, salt and pepper. Increase heat to medium and return to a boil. The reduce heat to low again, cover and simmer for another 30 to 45 minutes.
  5. Adjust seasoning and serve with rice or slices of hearty bread.

Variations

  • Tamatiebredie (Tomato bredie): use peeled, chopped tomatoes as the vegetable.
  • Groenboontjiebredie (Green bean bredie): use trimmed green beans as the vegetable.
  • Koolbredie (Cabbage bredie): use 1 head of chopped green cabbage as the vegetable.
  • Other Meats: while bredies are traditionally made with mutton, don't limit yourself. Use lamb or mutton ribs, beef oxtails or even pork.
  • Seasonings: bredie seasonings are highly personal. Some of the more popular include thyme, marjoram, coriander, curry powder, cinnamon, paprika and cardamom. Use 1 or 2 teaspoons. Or add some chopped fresh ginger and/or minced garlic with the onions.
  • If you prefer, you can eliminate the potatoes and make simple dumplings to simmer and cook in the stew at the very end.
  • Some recipes call for thickening the stew with a slurry of cornstarch or potato starch and water.
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