(South African lamb stew)
Bredies are simple, satisfying South African mutton stews in the Cape Malay tradition. The most popular are green bean bredie, tomato bredie and cabbage bredie.
The recipe here is for a basic bredie of mutton, potatoes and a vegetable. How to make variations using different vegetables is described in the section below.
A bredie will always taste better served the day after it is made, so if you have the time, make up a pot ahead of time and serve it for dinner the next day.
4 to 6 servings
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Adjust seasoning and serve with rice or slices of hearty bread.
- 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.