You can’t have South African cuisine without the Tomato bredie! It’s an iconic dish you’ll find served everywhere from 5-star restaurants to Ouma and Gogo’s kitchens. Today Miami Canners takes a closer look at the fascinating history of this delicious dish- and how you can whip one up for yourself, too!
What even is a bredie?
Think a succulent stew, slow simmered for hours so the seasonings can work their magic. They’re named for the key veggie in the mix (hence tomato bredie) although they do typically include a meat like lamb or beef- go figure! The tomato bredie is by far the most famous incarnation but watch out for green pea and green bean bredies, cabbage bredie, waterblommetjie bredie, lentil bredie and many others takes on the same delectable concept. The Afrikaans actually use bredie as a word for stew, but it’s a loan-word from Malaysia (that originally meant spinach) and was brought to the Cape by its Malayan population.
Firing up a recipe for bredie, you may immediately close the page and walk away- the ingredient lists inevitably look long! But don’t be put off- in reality, most of the ingredients are a unique spice blend that gives a bredie its signature taste, and you can whip one up with little effort. In fact, it’s an ideal slow cooker/crockpot recipe! But the cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, chilli and other spices are the perfect way to celebrate this delectable dish- it even makes for a great Christmas Eve table topper with such a festive blend of spices!
Making your very own tomato bredie
As we mentioned, the ingredient list looks formidable, but don’t let that put you off!
5 crushed garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
A few fresh parsley sprigs
1 sprig thyme
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 1/2 tbs brown sugar
2 tbs smoked paprika
6 cardamom pods
1 stick of cinnamon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 kg lamb, cubed
1 tbs cooking oil
4 diced onions
1 carrot, finely diced
2 sticks celery, finely sliced
1 leek, finely diced (optional)
1 tbs Miami tomato paste
2 cans of Miami peeled tomatoes
400 ml dry white wine of choice
500 ml lamb or beef stock
8 to 10 new peeled potatoes
1 to 2 tbs brandy
What to do:
Season your lamb with salt and pepper while heating the oil in a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed casserole pan. Use a medium-high heat. Brown up the meat and place it to one side. Then sauté the mirepoix (the veggies bar the potatoes) until the onions are glassy, add the tomato paste, wine and tomatoes, and bring to the boil. Pop the meat back in the pot.
Tie your fresh herbs together to make a bouquet garni and drop it in the pot, then stir in the cumin, sugar, paprika and coriander. Wrap the cinnamon, cardamom and cloves in a piece of kitchen cheesecloth and pop it in as well. Gently pour through the stock and simmer your dish until succulent and tender- it should be 2-3 hours on the stove. Pop in the potatoes and allow to cook for another 20 minutes, or until they are soft. Toss in the brandy, taste (and adjust if needed) your seasonings, and you’re ready to roll!
This classic South African dish tastes great over rice with a heady local Merlot to add pep. As you can see, it’s super simple when you have Miami on your side, so why not give it a whirl this festive season? You’re sure to fall in love!