Green bean bredie – of course one has to call it a bredie, for nothing this soul satisfying could possibly be called a mere stew. What makes this a true South African bredie? The addition of marvellous old-fashioned boerekos spices along with liberal lashings of lard.
This is gran’s green bean bredie recipe, but I’ve given it a modern twist. I keep my beans whole as I prefer it visually, but you can slice them fine on the diagonal the way she did. I also don’t cook them to death, opting instead to add them towards the end. I like it crunchy, of course you can add them earlier if you prefer. I also finish the bredie off with a squeeze of lemon right at the end for a burst of zesty brightness. It’s the food of yesterday, adapted for today.
All you need is…
2-3 tbs lard
900g mutton knuckle (or a mix of knuckle, shin and neck)
1½ cups finely chopped onion
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tbs cake flour
1 mutton stock cube (I used Knorrox)
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 whole cloves
2 cups water
4 large potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 packet green beans, whole or sliced
salt to taste
Caramelise the meat over high heat in the lard. Remove the meat and set aside. Add the onions to the same pan and fry until nicely golden and soft. Add the garlic and fry for a minute. Add the flour and stir through until it disappears into the onion. Add the meat back to the pan along with any liquid that came out while it rested. Add the rest of the ingredients (except the beans and lemon), cover and cook over very low heat until the meat is fall-off-the-bone soft.
How long it takes depends on the age of the animal. Reckon on 2-3 hours. Peek from time to time to see if any more water is needed. If your heat is low enough, it should not be necessary. Add the beans once the meat is soft and cook them to your liking. Finally add the lemon juice just before you serve. Taste and adjust salt if necessary. Serve this green bean bredie with fluffy white rice. I consider Mrs Ball’s chutney an essential extra.