My Mother's Greenbean ''Bredie" (Stew)
  • 6 round slices of lamb neck, not too thin
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon toasted and ground coriander seeds
  • 3 whole cloves or 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • salt and white pepper
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into eight pieces each
  • 1 lb fresh greenbeans cut into 1/2-inch lengths
  • a lump of good butter
  1. 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).
  2. Add the potatoes and beans and steam for another 5 minutes, by which the potatoes should be falling apart.
  3. Taste for seasoning (quite peppery is good) and mash the potatoes, beans and a fair-sized lump of butter with a potato masher.
  4. It doesn't matter if some bits of the meat come off the bone and get mixed into the mashed potatoes and beans.
  5. Serve with glazed carrots and a sweet and sour tomato and onion salad.
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 garlic, green ginger and chillies with the meat and serve the tomato and onion salad chopped into cubes, also with a touch of green chilli. My Mother's Cucumber Sambal: Grate an English cucumber and half an onion. Salt to taste and set aside for half an hour. Squeeze out the juices and flavour with white wine vinegar, sugar and a lot of white pepper. Chill for an hour or two.