South African Tomato Stew (Tamatie bredie)
Most South Africans have a memory of Tamatie Bredie (Tomato stew in Afrikaans), but I am not one those South Africans. I absolutely hated stew as a child so whenever it was made, I ate salad or bread instead. I also didn’t like rice so I couldn’t even enjoy the rich sauce. But as I grew older I realised what I had been missing. Stew in any shape or form is just so luscious and comforting that I now, can’t believe what a picky brat I must’ve been.
I’ve been reading about Tamatie Bredie for years now and never thought about making it, I really don’t know why. And yesterday when I took the Lamb Neck out of the freezer to defrost, I just thought I would give it a try. I read through quite a few Tamatie Bredie recipes and decided to kind of make up my own using some components from each recipe. I decided to use cherry tomatoes although I’m sure normal tomatoes would be just perfect and I also used tomato puree to just give it that rich sauce I was after. I know some people use lamb ribs to make Tamatie Bredie but, for me, there is just nothing that comes close to Lamb Neck. I feel the same about Oxtail when it comes to beef. Some recipes also use potatoes in the stew, which I think would be absolutely delish, I just chose not to add them. Now if you are a food purist and like to do things traditionally, please don’t get upset about me adding all my own little touches, but I actually think I did pretty well with not adding too many ‘foreign’ ingredients. I served this Tamatie bredie with sticky Jasmine Rice and the 8 people who ate it, could not stop saying how yummy it was. And I agree, this is definitely something I’ll do again!
2kg Lamb neck (Cut through the fat of the bigger pieces to prevent them from curling during cooking)
2 large onions, halved then thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed2tsp ground coriander
2tsp ground cumin
2tsp garam masala/curry powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
500g Cherry tomatoes, halved / 6 medium tomatoes, chopped
750ml Chicken stock
1 large tin tomato puree (not paste)
3tbsn Apricot jam
3 Bay Leaves
Jasmine Rice to serve
- In a large casserole pot, brown the lamb in batches. Remove and set aside.
- In the same pot, fry the onions until soft and golden.
- Add the garlic and spices and fry for another minute before adding the tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes are softened and their juices have been released.
- Add the lamb back to the pot and stir to coat the lamb with the tomatoes and spices.
- Combine the stock, tomato puree and apricot jam and pour over the lamb. You need enought to just cover the lamb. Add the bay leaves.
- Reduce the heat, cover and allow to simmer gently for 2-2.5 hours until the lamb can be pulled from the bone.
- Check the seasoning and adjust, it needs to be pleasantly sweet. Serve with the cooked Jasmine Rice.