“Boontjie bredie” – lamb & green bean stew

Cooler weather called for a warm, aromatic stew and since I had green beans in my fridge it was the perfect excuse to cook a meal that hold so many wonderful childhood memories.

This dish, a winter favourite consisting of lamb, green beans & potatoes, is just one of the many dishes customary to my South-African heritage. Traditionally cooked for a few hours in an aromatic broth of clove and nutmeg and served with fluffy white rice, it is cooked differently in every household after being passed down many generations.
It is certainly not the most attractive of dishes but it boasts beautiful aromatic flavour and will, undoubtedly, become one of your winter go-to recipes. An easy, delicious and comforting one pot wonder that will be enjoyed by everyone sitting around your dining table.

ingredients | serves 6 | easy
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1.2kg lamb stewing meat or lamb knuckle
3T flour
500g green beans, sliced
3 large potatoes, cubed
1/2C dry white wine
2C chicken stock
5 whole cloves
1t ground nutmeg
5 thyme sprigs, leaves only
juice of 1 lemon
salt to taste
good grind of black pepper (don’t be shy)
2T olive oil + extra for browning meat
1T butter
white rice to serve

how to
Dredge the meat with the flour. Heat about 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large Dutch oven or pot and brown the meat, in batches, using a little more oil for each batch.
Set the meat aside.
Heat 2 more tablespoons of olive oil and the butter and sauté the onion until glossy. About 2 minutes.
Add the white wine and deglaze the pot, scraping the bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon. Reduce to half.
Add the garlic, cloves, nutmeg & thyme and cook for about 3 minutes while stirring.
Pour the stock into the pot followed by the meat. Bring the mixture to a boil, turn down the heat to a gentle simmer, cover with a tight fitting lid and cook for one hour, stirring occasionally.
Add the potatoes & green beans, stir to combine and season with salt & pepper. Cover with the lid and cook for 1 hour. Move the lid only a little to the side allowing steam to escape (this will thicken the sauce a little, if necessary) and cook for a further 30 minutes until the lamb is tender and the potatoes are well cooked.
Taste and adjust seasoning. Add the lemon juice and gently stir.

Serve with fluffy white rice or mashed potato.




south african ‘frikkadel’ in a creamy tomato broth

This dish brings back very fond childhood memories. The smell of the ‘frikkadel’ lingering through the house as it was baked in the oven sits firm in my memory bank. They always tasted the same, never different, which now tells me that it was obviously a recipe that was passed down many generations to my mother who never felt the desire to change or alter it. And rightly so, as the ‘frikkadel’ recipe i so well remember was delightfully delicious and completely moreish.
Frikkadel is a traditional AFrikaner dish, consisting of minced meat, onion, bread, eggs, vinegar & spices and then baked or sometimes deep-fried.
There are so many amazing sides to this dish although it was served with rice in our family home thus making rice the traditional side for me.
This recipe is not that of my mother as I think some things are meant to be kept secret.
I used the base of the original recipe with a few tweaks here and there and then turned it up a notch to boost it to the 21st century.
Frikkadels can be made ahead of time and freeze really well so i suggest doubling the recipe to give you extra for the freezer. Perfect for lazy days or days when you really just don’t have much time to spend behind the stove.

ingredients | serves 4-6 | easy
500g minced beef (or pork of a mixture of the two)
1/2 white onion, finely chopped
1T crushed garlic
2 medium tomatoes, centre removed and cut into small blocks
1 egg
2T chopped parsley
1.5T worcester sauce
1/2C breadcrumbs
2T chutney (i used Mrs Balls)
1/2t salt
1/2t black pepper
3T olive oil, for frying

For the tomato broth
1/2 white onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 can chopped tomato
1T brown sugar
1t salt
1/2t black pepper
1/2t dried oregano
1/2t dried basil
1/2t dried parsley
1/2t chilli flakes (optional)
1T butter
1T olive oil
1/2C cream
Bunch fresh parsley, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Mix all the ingredients for the meatballs except the breadcrumbs & egg together. Break the egg into the mixture, add the breadcrumbs and using your hands, mix until well combined.
Form balls a little smaller than a golf ball, using the palms of your hands.
Heat the olive oil in a shallow pan and brown the frikkadels on all sides. Transfer the frikkadels to an ovenproof dish and bake for about ten minutes. Lift the frikkadels out of the skillet, pour the juices out of the skillet and set aside. (Do not clean the skillet)

Heat the olive oil & butter for the tomato broth in the same skillet of the frikkadels. (This will add more flavour to your broth)
Saute the onion until glossy. Add the oregano, basil, dried parsley & chilli flakes and cook for about one minute. Add the chopped tomatoes, brown sugar, garlic, salt & pepper and cook on a low heat for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour the juices from the baked frikkadles into the broth and stir well.
Add the cream to the tomato broth and stir through.

Place the frikkadels into the tomato sauce, cover with a lid and cook for about five minutes until heated through.

Dish the frikkadels into bowl and pour the sauce around it. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and serve with basmati rice or mashed potato.


traditional south-african ‘bobotie’

Traditionally South-African and undoubtedly a favourite in just about any home in South-Africa, bobotie consists of curried / spiced minced meat, topped with an egg custard and baked.
Some bobotie recipes have been passed down many generations and are kept secret in most families.
There are so many recipe variations of which most contain raisins or sultanas. I, however, prefer it with grated apple or pear. (Dried peaches or apricots are also used as an alternative.)
Most bobotie recipes use milk soaked bread to add extra moisture to the dish and is traditionally served with yellow rice, which is rice cooked with turmeric.
This dish is not particularly spicy and incorporates a variety of flavours thus adding complexity.

ingredients | serves 6 | easy
1kg minced meat
3T olive oil
2T butter
2 medium onions, sliced
1T crushed garlic
1/2C dried bread crumbs
1/2C beef broth
1/5T mild curry powder
1t turmeric
1t ground cumin
1t ground coriander
1.5t dried thyme & oregano mix
2 red apples, cored & grated
1/4C chutney (Mrs. Balls)
3T apricot jam
2T worcester sauce
2 medium carrots, grated
zest & juice of 1 lemon
1/2C flaked almonds
1t fine salt
1t black pepper

for the egg custard
3 large eggs
5 bay leaves
1/2c (125ml) cream
1/2c (125ml) milk
1/3c flaked almonds

how to do it
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Heat the olive oil & butter in a large ovenproof skillet. Sauté the onion until glossy. Add the curry powder, turmeric, cumin, coriander, thyme & oregano to the skillet and cook for about one minute until fragrant. Add the minced meat to the pan and cook until browned. Add the carrots & grated apple and cook for 5 minutes.
Mix the chutney, Worcester sauce, lemon juice & zest and apricot jam together and add it to the mince mixture. Stir to combine, cover with a lid and cook for about 15 minutes, on a gentle simmer.
Remove the lid.
Pour the half cup of beef broth into the mixture, stir and then add the bread crumbs. Stir to combine and cook for two minutes. Remove from the heat.
Season with salt & black pepper and stir.
Using the back of a spoon, press the mixture down to even it out.
Make the egg custard by whisking the eggs, milk & cream together. Gently pour the custard onto the mince mixture, over the back of a spoon. Place the bay leaves in the centre or where you prefer and add the flaked almonds.
Gently place the skillet into the oven and bake for 30 minutes until golden and the custard have set.
Remove from the oven, rest for five minutes and serve with yellow rice.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x





vanilla and seed rusks

food for thought –
strawberries contain more vitamin c than oranges

a hard, biscuit like treat that pairs well with coffee or sometimes just on its own. rusks, customary to my heritage, have been around for many years, and this recipe, which i’ve tweaked through the years, has never let me down. moreish, tasty white rusks. every time.
the drying time is long, so i sometimes opt for making a double batch as they last really well in an air-tight container. there are so many rusk variations although i almost always come back to this one.
i just love the smell of freshly baked rusks and the lingering rusk drying smell the next morning.
these really are so good that sometimes you don’t even need the coffee to dip them into…

ingredients |
1kg plain flour
500g unsalted butter, melted
500ml full cream buttermilk
1 1/2tbs baking powder
1 1/2c castor sugar or brown sugar
1tsp salt
2 eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla essence
1 1/2c mixed seeds
i used pumpkin, linseeds & sunflower seeds

preheat the oven to 160 degrees C. grease a standard size sheet pan with non-stick spray.
in a large bowl, sift dry ingredients together and stir using a whisk. pour the buttermilk and cooled melted butter into the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated. add the eggs & vanilla essence and mix well. lastly, add the seeds and mix until evenly distributed. turn the mixture out onto the greased sheet pan and lightly press down and into the sides, using your hands, spatula or wooden spoon.
using a sharp knife, make incisions in the batter for the rusks’s size and shape. place into the oven and bake for about 1h15 or until just firm and nicely browned on top. remove from the oven and leave to cool for then minutes. turn the oven down to 85 – 90 degrees C.
using a serrated knife, cut along the incisions to loosen the rusks. place the rusks onto an oven rack and back into the oven to dry overnight.
cool completely before storing in air tight containers.

from my kitchen to yours, with love x