How to Make South African Lamb Bredie (Lamb Stew)

How to Make South African Lamb Bredie (Lamb Stew)

Lamb Bredie is a dish that consists of meat (mutton) and some vegetables. The number of vegetables and meat that can be used in the preparation varies based on individual preferences, and there are no strict rules for the ratio that should be applied.

Some people argue that bredie and stew are two different things, and the variation is based on the difference in the ingredients and spices used to make them, or that bredie doesn’t require as much stock as a regular stew but instead relies on the vegetable juices. At the same time, some other groups of people stick to the claim that bredie is just another name for Stew. And this is not far from the truth.

Bredie is the Afrikaans name for Stew, although the name originated from Malaysia, and it’s rumored that the enslaved people came up with that style of cooking. That’s probably why at first, it was only eaten by the poor, but now it’s consumed by everybody and their sister. Even tourists are looking to get up in some of that too.

What Is Lamb Bredie (Lamb Stew)?

Lamb bredie or lamb stew is a South African dish made with lamb ribs cut into smaller sections, some flour to act as a thickener, some sugar for the extra sweetness, a bunch of spices, and enough vegetables to start a small garden.

It’s a super-rich meal, and the meat is so soft and coated in gravy you can lick it off the bones! I have a foodgasm thinking about it, and it’s perfect for a cold night.

You can make the mouth-watering goodness with a slow cooker or regular stove top; you don’t necessarily need to use a pressure cooker.

The South African lamb bredie takes a lot of time to cook, but it’s worth the wait when you consider how much pleasure it’ll give your taste buds, so let’s get right to it.

South African Lamb Bredie (Lamb Stew)

South African Lamb Bredie (Lamb Stew)

Edidiong Abraham
Lamb Bredie is a dish that consists of meat (mutton) and some vegetables.
Prep Time 24 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 9 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine South African Food
Servings 3 people
Calories 460 kcal


  • 1 Stove Top
  • 1 Saucepan Mid-sized
  • 1 Spoon / Cup (for measurement)
  • 1 Knife
  • 1 Cutting Board
  • 1 Wooden Spatula
  • 1 Bowls


  • 2.2 lbs Lamb Ribs (Cut up into Riblets)
  • 2 bulbs Onions Chopped
  • 2 large Potatoes (Cut to your desired size)
  • 1 cup Grated Potatoes
  • 2 tbsp Salt
  • 250 grams Tomato Puree
  • 1 tbsp Thyme
  • 3 tbsp Sunflower Oil
  • 1 tbsp Cinnamon Ground
  • 1 tbsp Garlic
  • 2 tbsp Brown Sugar


  • Pour the sunflower oil into your medium-sized pan and preheat it with medium heat.
  • Add your cut lamb riblets into the oil and stir them a couple of times, then leave it to cook for about 8-10 minutes until the meat has adequately browned.
  • Add your chopped onions, garlic, cinnamon, thyme, and dried chili peppers and stir to allow everything to mix in properly. Then set the cooker slightly above medium heat and let the meat cook for about 6 minutes. (If you're considering using some other spices not mentioned here, you should add them at this point, too, like bay leaf and peppercorns). (To use the flour as a thickener instead of the grated potatoes, you'll need to mix about 25-30ml of it with a bit of cold water, then pour this into the sauce).
  • Add your fresh tomatoes and then add some salt to taste; add 2 tsp of black pepper (you can add more if you want). Add your shredded cabbage and grated potatoes and allow it to cook for 6-7 minutes. Don't forget to stir intermittently, so it doesn't stick to the bottom.
  • Then add about 2-3 cups of water to the meat and allow it to cook for 25-30 minutes. This will give the meat enough time to soften appropriately and provide the water a chance to evaporate.
  • Add 2 tbsp of brown sugar (you can add more if you want a sweeter taste), then add your tomato paste and stir properly to achieve your desired consistency. You can add some extra water, too, if you want a lighter bredie.
  • Then add your chopped potatoes and carrots to the mix, and don't forget to add some water and then leave it to cook for about 40 - 45 minutes. At that time, your bredie should be done and ready for serving.
Keyword South African, South African Food

What to Serve Lamb Bredie With?

Lamb stew goes well with a lot of other dishes, but these are the most common:

  • Yellow rice
  • Basmati rice
  • Bread
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Steamed green beans
Read Also:  How to Cook Stew Peas with Pig's Tails and Chicken Feet

Extra Tips To Note

  1. The grated potato added acts as a thickener, and it’s used as a replacement for flour.
  2. Apart from the cabbage, carrots, and fresh tomatoes used for this recipe, you can still use some other vegetables like green beans, pumpkins, waterblommetjie, and Water Lily. You can even experiment with different vegetables not mentioned here.
  3. Always buy meat on the bone, like lamb ribs and neck, because they always have a better flavor.
  4. It’s better to simmer your bredie so that the meat can soften properly because lambs and the likes don’t do well from any other kind of cooking.
  5. Overcooking your lamb stew will only make your meat toughen up after it has lost most of its moisture and fallen apart. Ensure you keep your fork handy while cooking to check and know your meat is fork-tender but still in one piece.
  6. Apart from sunflower oil, you can also use vegetable oil, grapeseed oil, and coconut oil.

Nutritional Information

South African lamb bredie is Rich in the following:

  • Proteins
  • Calcium
  • Carbohydrates
  • Fats
  • Vitamin C
  • Iron
  • Potassium
  • Sodium

How To Store Lam Bredie?

Every meal tastes better after the first day, and this South African lamb bredie is no exception, so by all means, save some for another day by putting leftovers in the fridge in an airtight plastic container, reheat and enjoy the premium yumminess for yet another day.

To keep the bredie longer than just a few days, it should be put in a freezer and allowed to stay frozen until there’s a need to use it. It can last for more than a month if frozen.

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