South African Lamb Bredie (Lamb Stew)

    Let me take you on a mouthwatering journey to South Africa, where we’ll explore the delightful world of Lamb Bredie, a traditional South African lamb stew. Lamb bredie is another name for a lamb stew. Picture this: tender chunks of succulent lamb simmering in a pot with aromatic spices and vegetables. 

    While stews are cooked in a large amount of stock, a bredie uses hardly any stock and relies on the vegetables to form the liquid component of the dish.

    Key ingredients like tomatoes, onions, and aromatic spices such as cloves, garlic, and cinnamon infuse the stew with a distinctly South African flair. 

    It’s a dish that brings people together, symbolizing warmth, hospitality, and the joy of sharing a delicious meal with loved ones. So, get ready to savour every spoonful of lamb bredie, which is simply packed with lamb meat and vegetables.

    What Lamb Meat is Best for Stews

    Selecting the right lamb meat cut is important to achieve the desired taste. It’s important you prioritize tenderness when making a Lamb Bredie, as this South African stew requires meat that falls apart easily.

    In this case, the shoulder or rib is an ideal option due to its tenderness and ability to hold up well during long cooking times. 

    For those who prefer a leaner stew, the leg of lamb can also be used, provided it is cooked for a sufficient amount of time to make sure it’s tender. Ultimately, the best lamb cuts for stews depend on personal preference. Experimenting with different cuts could give your perfect choice.

    What’s the Difference Between Stew and Bredie?

    Stews and Bredies are both great dishes, but they have distinct differences. Stew is a slow-cooked dish with meat, vegetables, or pepper with a thick liquid base. It offers a well-rounded taste from ingredients like potatoes, carrots, and herbs. But bredie is a South African stew focused on lamb. 

    It is slow-cooked until the lamb becomes tender and easily falls apart. Bredies featured ingredients from tomatoes, onions, and aromatic spices, giving it a unique taste. While both dishes share slow cooking, the key distinction lies in the choice of meat and the specific recipe.

    Why is My Lamb Stew Tough?

    If your lamb stew turns out tough, these are a few common reasons behind it;

    Using the wrong cut of lamb

    Insufficient cooking time 

    Not enough liquid or flavour 

    To prevent toughness in Lamb Bredie, go for tender parts like lamb shoulder or ribs and marinate the meat before the cooking day. Simmering the stew over low heat and making sure there’s enough liquid, such as broth or wine, will also help maintain tenderness.

    Enjoy the rich South African lamb bredie stew dish with family and friends!

    South African lamb bredie (Lamb Stew)

    South African lamb bredie (Lamb Stew)

    Lamb bredie is the south African name for lamb stew. While stews are cooked in a large amount of stock, a bredie uses hardly any stock and relies on the vegetables to form the liquid component of the dish.
    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Cook Time 2 hours
    Course Sauces and Soup, Side Dish
    Cuisine South African


    • 1 kg lamb diced(shoulder or ribs)
    • 1 large onion diced
    • 3 medium Potato cut in large chunks
    • 3 medium Carrot cut in large chunks
    • 1 cup green beans diced in small pcs
    • 1 table cup lamb or vegetable broth
    • 2 stalks celery chopped
    • 3 medium tomatoes grated
    • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
    • 1 stick cinnamon grinded
    • 1 clove garlic
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • salt and grounded pepper to taste


    • Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the lamb and brown them on all sides until they develop a nice caramelized crust.
      1 tablespoon olive oil
    • Once the lamb is browned, remove them from the pot and set them aside temporarily.
      1 kg lamb diced(shoulder or ribs)
    • In the same pot, add the chopped onion, celery, cinnamon and garlic. Sauté them until they become slightly softened.
      1 large onion diced, 2 stalks celery chopped, 1 stick cinnamon grinded
    • Add the potato, chopped carrots, and green beans to the pot. Stir them together with the onion and garlic mixture.
      3 medium Potato cut in large chunks
    • Grate the tomatoes directly into the pot, ensuring that all the juicy pulp is added.
      3 medium tomatoes grated
    • Pour in the lamb or vegetable stock and add the tomato puree. These will contribute to the liquid component of the stew and enhance its overall taste.
      1 table cup lamb or vegetable broth
    • Return the browned lamb to the pot. Season everything with salt and give it a good stir to combine all the ingredients.
      salt and grounded pepper to taste
    • Allow the mixture to a boil, on low heat. Until the lamb is tender.
    • Once the lamb is tender and the potatoes are cooked, give the stew a taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
      3 medium Carrot cut in large chunks
    • Serve the South African Lamb Bredie hot with rice or crusty bread as you wish.


    Note: Make sure the lamb meat is well cooked till tender.
    You can make it boneless or maintain the bone depending on your preference.
    Keyword Lamb Bredie
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


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