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In the Cape Maly Cookbook by Faldelah Williams she says that Bredies is an old Cape name for a dish of meat and vegetables stewed together so that the flavours intermingle and it is impossible to separate the one from the other. The unique flavour of the bredie is determined by the vegetable used. Although almost any vegetable can be used the meat is almost always lamb or mutton. Mutton is ideal for bredies as the long slow simmering tenderizes it and brings out the full flavour. Recipes for bredies have been handed down through many generations and they changed very little in character over the years. The flavour is delicious that there is no need for additional herbs and spices.
- 2 onions, thinly sliced
- 30 ml sunflower oil
- 1 kg mutton rib, cut in pieces, add maybe
- 2 mutton bones with marrow, for extra flavour but this is (optional)
- 7 ml salt
- 5 whole cloves
- 2 whole allspice
- 3 peppercorns
- 1 medium cinnamon stick
- 10 ml freshly ground ginger-garlic paste
- 5 ml crushed dried red chilies or 5 ml chili powder, if you like
- 1 whole green chili (optional)
- 10 ml sugar
- 150 ml water (please see note)
- 1 medium cabbage, shredded finely or 1 large cauliflower, broken into florets maybe used
- 3 medium potatoes, quartered
- NOTE: IF USING CABBAGE OMIT WATER OR USE SPARINGLY SO POT DOES NOT BURN AS CABBAGE DRAWS A LOT OF WATER.
- Heat oil in heavy casserole or soup pot. Add cloves, peppercorns, and allspice. Once it starts sizzling add onions. Brown your onions nicely (my mom always said that if you brown the onions to a nice golden colour you will have a better tasting and looking bredie; not browning the onions nicely will give you a grey colour bredie which we don’t want).
- Add meat and simmer slowly till meat is done and well browned.
- Add salt, chillies, ginger and garlic paste and sugar and half cup water. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes until flavours are well blended.
- Add your cabbage/ cauliflower and potatoes and cook until vegetables are soft about 20 minutes. Use the remaining water only if you find that it is necessary, (the pot is becoming dry).
- Sprinkle with nutmeg before serving.
- Serve with white rice and sambals and atjar. Cucumber and onion sambal goes well with this dish.
- Peel cucumber grate it then put 5ml salt and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Squeeze moisture out. Add some slice onion, 1 green chilie chopped, 5ml sugar and 30 ml vinegar. Good with hot curries.