The Cape Classic: Tamatie Bredie [Tomato stew, Paleo, Gluten free, Grain free, Refined sugar free]

Try this recipe for a healthier version of bredie, with no gluten, grains or refined sugar. Whether it’s hot or cold out, this is a crowd-pleaser for sure!

When I moved to Cape Town three years ago, I was still all about the roast dinner with Yorkshire puddings and gravy. That was my go-to meal for guests, and a pretty regular meal for me and my family. I loved my spicy foods (of course) but nothing quite beat a good ol’ fashioned roast dinner. Then I heard about this ‘bredie’ and had no clue what it was. When someone explained that it’s ‘tomato food’ I was even more confused — tomato food but it has meat? So why is it not ‘lamb food’ ..!? Ya get me!!?? Anyway, I attempted to make it and since sugar is added to the dish to sweeten it (quite a bit it appears), this was not going to work for me on paleo or reboot. When a friend came over and tried it – let’s just say she was very polite about just how wrong it was! 😉 Hey, at least I tried! 

But I refused to give up because it really did look amazing in pictures and from the way everyone went on about it being a favourite food, I knew I had to get this right. So I got a friend of mine to make it and show me how 😜 Once I got the gist of it, I knew I’d inevitably do my own thing anyway, but at least I’d be on the right track. 

I chose lamb because I love dishes made with slow cooked lamb. There’s a depth of flavour that just makes it all the more scrumptious. You could of course use any meat of your choice but this recipe is with lamb and green beans (errr, we are being healthy after all!). I’d throw in some green peppers too but didn’t have any at the time. 

Recipe for Tamatie Bredie, Paleo Style

Yield: 6 servings 

Prep time: 10 minutes 

Cooking time: 1.5 hours

What you need 

1.5kg lamb knuckles (my preferred cut for this) 

1 onion, chopped 

2 tsp crushed garlic

3 tbsp olive oil 

2 tbsp butter/ghee

150g tomato paste (just tomatoes and salt! Check labels)

4 fresh tomatoes, grated/puréed 

1.5 -2 cups water 

Spices: 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp ground mixed spice, 1 tsp ground allspice, 2 tsp ground cumin

1/3 cup date paste (or 2 tbsp raw honey for regular Paleo version) 

Salt to taste 

Optional: 1 tbsp crushed dried chilli, potatoes, green beans, peppers… I’d add them all 😄

What you need to do 

1. Heat oil and butter in a pot. 

2. Add onion and garlic. Fry until softened and light brown. 

3. Add the meat and brown. Cook for approximately 10-15 minutes. 

4. Once the meat is browned, add the tomatoes and tomato paste, and water. Give it all a good stir. Lower the heat, cook covered, for 30 – 45 minutes (we want that meat falling off them bones!). Just check on it every so often so it doesn’t burn 😉 

5. Mix the spices and add to the pot. They add to the sweetness – so don’t leave them out! Mix well. (If using chilli, add it now.) Stir in the date paste/honey. Cook for a further 15-20 minutes (or until the meat is just about soft but not completely).  

6. If using potatoes, add them now. Allow to cook until the potatoes have softened. Throw in the green veggies right at the end to avoid overcooking them. 


*If using leg of lamb cubes/pieces, your cooking time will be much less. The timings are based on a cut that requires slower cooking. 

Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with cauli rice or a side of your choice. Enjoy! 

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