Thursday, April 1, 2010

Purslane bredie

So, try this:

A South African stew called a bredie (BREE-year-deeh) is characterized by a slow-cooked meat base of either lamb or chicken to which onion and one type of seasonal vegetable are added. Cloves, ginger, cinnamon, chile, vinegar or lemon juice are typical flavorings.

Serves 4-6

2 large onions, thinly sliced
3 cloves crushed and sliced garlic
1 bunch purslane, well washed, cut into 1 inch lengths (keep thick stems for pickling, if you like)
2 lbs of lamb on the bone (shoulder chops, or ribs) or chicken pieces
1 lemon's juice or 1/4 cup tamarind juice
2 hot red chiles, sliced
1-3 potatoes, cut up
salt, pepper

You need a pan with a lid.  Brown the lamb or chicken  in batches, taking care not to overcrowd the pan and cause the meat to go pale and gasping. Remove. In hot oil sweat the onions until slightly coloured. Add garlic. Squeeze over the lemon juice and stir up the brown bits stuck to the pan. Return the meat to the onions in the pan and add the purslane, chiles, seasoning. Add enough water (or white wine) to touch the top of the meat. Cook with the lid ajar at a gentle simmer for about 2 hours - add the potatoes after one hour - until the meat is falling apart. Take the lid of the pot if the liquid has not reduced enough. Serve with buttered basmati rice or barley.


  1. What can you use if you cannot find purslane?

  2. Bredie is made with any seasonal vegetable. Nothing is quite like purslane, so there is no perfetc substitute - but typical bredies also include just pumpkin, or tomato, or carrots, or green beans. Always with some potato. Try spinach - bearing in mind that a huge bunch will almost disappear while cooking.


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