My Mother's Green Bean Bredie (Stew)

"This is an old family favourite, and please forgive me if the quantities are not very precise - it's just one of those dishes we cook with no exact ingredient measures. I have also adapted it for the pressure cooker, which makes a somewhat fresher-flavoured stew in half the time of the original. To give the whole affair a Cape Malay twist, steam some cinnamon stick, cardamom, cloves, garlic, green ginger and chillies with the meat and serve the tomato and onion salad chopped into cubes, also with a touch of green chillie."
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Ready In:




  • Steam the lamb neck, onion and spices (salt sparingly) with 1/2 cup of water for half an hour or until very tender.
  • (In the pressure cooker I use, this means that there is still a good bit of juice left; otherwise add another half cup before the next step - the stew should end up moist but without runny juices).
  • Add the potatoes and beans and steam for another 5 minutes, by which time the potatoes should be falling apart.
  • Taste for seasoning (quite peppery is good) and mash the potatoes, beans and a fair-sized lump of butter with a potato masher.
  • It doesn't matter if some bits of the meat come off the bone and get mixed into the mashed potatoes and beans.
  • Serve with glazed carrots and a sweet and sour tomato and onion salad.

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I live in South Africa, but I cook my way around the world. I have learnt to cook great Indian curries from our large Indian community - I love exotic spices roasting and filling the kitchen with their different aromas. I also love good English food, and American baking, biscuits, pies and cakes; comfort food from anywhere. My favourite cookbooks are Jane Grigson's Vegetable Book, all Alan Davidson's books about fish and Charmaine Solomon's Complete Book of Asian Cooking. I am compiling a food calendar 2008 for the Southern hemisphere, where all the seasons are the other way round. Sometimes I love to cook complicated recipes all the way from scratch - like making a French sauce starting with a two-day stockpot, then reducing it, etc., etc! - or a Bavaraian Cream from Julia Child. I love good food anywhere, but I hate pretentious expensive restaurant food like Foamed This or That or Mushroom Cappucino or Tomato Water or any sort of overblown so-called post-modern cooking.
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