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August 10, 2020

Tomato Stew – Another South African gem

Posted on June 23, 2008 by in lamb

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We had a whole weekend of rain and to top it all I had two sick children – nothing serious, just the sniffles, but they needed mommy’s TLC. MY hands were full, doing all sorts of things…rubbing, playing Bratz, drawing, making tea and toast…etc.

Tomato stew is one of those recipes that I grew up with. It hails from the era where no one was ever in a hurry. I am sure you can make a quick version – my sister does in her pressure cooker, but there is nothing more comforting than to have a pot of “something” on the stove.
Slowly cooking along, filling your house with the most amazing aroma. Although South African cooking is full of recipes for all kinds of stews, from Green bean Stew right down to Cabbage stew, my family only eats two of them – Curry and Tomato Stew! Here goes my version of a fragrant and lovely aromatic Tomato Stew( we call it a “bredie – pronounced: brea-di)

Tomato Stew


3 cloves garlic – finely chopped
2 onion – finely chopped
10ml ground coriander
10ml fennel seeds
1 small stick cinnamon
1 kg lamb of beef – you can use boneless, but I used beef brisket, cut in chunks
2 tins chopped tomatoes – or fresh, if you have – about 6 big juicy tomatoes
4-5 large potatoes – peeled and cut in chunks
1 small tin tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste
sugar to taste
juice and zest of a lemon
2 TBS vegetable oil

Fry onion and spices in vegetable oil, add garlic last. Add meat and brown slightly. Now add all tomatoes and tomato paste and cook for 1 hour.Add potatoes and let it cook until potatoes are soft and meat is coming off the bone easily. Add seasoning, lemon juice and sugar.The sugar is important, you can add more(I do), but it is a matter of taste. The stew must not be acidic, but rather deep brown-red in color and slightly sweet.
Serve with white or Basmati rice, a fresh grinding of black pepper and some chopped parsley or coriander.

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21 Responses to “Tomato Stew – Another South African gem”

  1. Nikki Miller-Ka 23 June 2008 at 9:28 am #

    Nina! Mmmm. Your stew reminds me of how last year this time I was gearing up to go to Johannesburg with my family. For some reason, the pic of the stew and the story behind it made me nostalgic. Thank you!

  2. Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm) 23 June 2008 at 9:57 am #

    nikki – how dare you come to South Africa an miss Cape Town – glad I could bring back a memory.

  3. Peter M 23 June 2008 at 2:30 pm #

    Nina, it’s nice to see SA cuisine using an exotic array of spices…tuck in & stay warm!

  4. Sandie 23 June 2008 at 3:45 pm #

    Nina, hi & thank you for visiting Inn Cuisine – I’m glad you liked my site!

    This dish looks hearty, rustic, delicious AND comforting, which is probably the most important thing of all! Also, I peaked at a few of your older posts and loved what I found on pastry. (I’m a big puff pastry person myself—on chicken pot pie, there is nothing better!)

  5. That Girl 23 June 2008 at 8:28 pm #

    I am so jealous its stew weather there!

  6. Daziano 23 June 2008 at 8:34 pm #

    MMmmmmm, lamb, lemon zest, tomatoes, fennel seeds… and perfect for the rainy days we are having up here!

  7. glamah16 23 June 2008 at 9:27 pm #

    This stew looks great. I had never heard of tomato stew. Thats why I love your blog, you are opening up South Africa to me. It may be winter there but I could eat htis now as summer is hit or miss.

  8. Rose&Thorn 24 June 2008 at 9:38 am #

    A good bredie is exactly what we needed this weekend! I love tomato bredie the best – full of goodness.

  9. Nafisa 24 June 2008 at 9:55 am #

    Thanks for visiting my blog, I managed to find yours through Rose&Thorn;’s posting.

    Your coffee & walnut cake looks lovely.

  10. JennDZ - The Leftover Queen 24 June 2008 at 5:48 pm #

    This sounds really comforting and delicious Nina! Perfect for administering TLC! πŸ™‚
    Wish I knew you last January, my cousin was in Capetown presenting at a conference and she just wished she had known someone there!

  11. Pam 24 June 2008 at 6:18 pm #

    This sounds really good Nina. I agree with you – there is nothing better than a pot of “something” simmering on the stove all day.

  12. Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm) 25 June 2008 at 7:49 am #

    peter – I think it is the Indian influences in our eating culture..

    sandy – I love finding new sites too and I also like new visitors. Please pop in again.

    that girl – are you also a winter person?

    daziano – go right ahead and try it!!!!

    glamah – stick around, I’ll show you plenty more SA recipes.

    rose – my favorite bredie too.

    nafisa – thanks for finding the time to look for my site. Come again soon!

    jenn – please consider this an open invitation – if you or your family comes here again, please pop in.I’ll be glad to show you around.

    pam – it is comforting isn’t it!

  13. StickyGooeyCreamyChewy 26 June 2008 at 3:47 am #

    Oooh! This really looks amazing! Real comfort food! I’m bookmarking this for cooler weather!

  14. Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm) 26 June 2008 at 7:41 am #

    stickygooeycreamychewy – You’ll be happy if you do.

  15. Jaime 28 June 2008 at 2:56 am #

    mmmmm total comfort food! reminds me a lot of the ‘nigerian chili’ my friend introduced me to

  16. Jeanne 10 July 2008 at 12:52 pm #

    My ma-in-law also makes a killer tamatiebredie – yours looks heavenly!

  17. KimdaCook 20 October 2008 at 11:39 am #

    Oh my word this sounds amazing, its just a pity I didn’t have this recipe for winter, as its a bit hot now to make it, but maybe just maybe there will be a moment to have it.

  18. Jam 22 March 2011 at 6:50 am #

    sounds fun and different.can't wait to try one.

  19. Sumayya Jamil 17 March 2013 at 12:26 am #

    Wow this looks divine! need to try this when my little one is sick shes gonna love it! x

  20. EriktheUnready 30 September 2014 at 11:32 am #

    WOW! I am so going to try it your way!!
    (I’ll swop you my way.)
    Put your brisket in a pressure cooker for about 30min, this way all the fat doesnt cook out and you have fatty water. with about 3 cups of water and 1 chopped onion.
    while this goes, have a cuppa coffee and wash the dishes.
    Now put a whole garlic (not 1 piece) in the blender, pour boiled water from your coffee over about 6-8 tomatoes, to easily peel them. When the meat is soft, seperate the meat and the bones into a bowl each.
    add the tomatoes, garlic and a little cumin and robertsons veggie spice, and about 2 tablespoons honey to the stock in the pressure cooker, and 2 chopped potatoes – cook for 15min. now your ace in the hole is a can of rhodes indian style tomatoes, it adds much needed spice, add it and a can of tomato puree last and cook it open for 5min. (optionally, you can fry the softened meat) and add it last. salt & pepper to taste. Add fresh corrainder before serving.


  21. Angela 11 July 2015 at 1:04 pm #

    sounds great

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