Butternut and pear bredie, prepared with mutton OR lamb, butternut squash and dried pears is one of those dishes, which would feel insulted if one had to refer to it by the name of its European rival known as “stew”. The principle is the same, but bredies tend to be richer, more tasty and infinitely more filling and varied.
2 large onions, chopped
250 ml stock
4 whole cloves
3 whole allspice berries
90 ml butter
1 kg lamb OR mutton
4 cloves garlic, crushed
4 sticks cinnamon
5 cm piece root ginger, crushed
2 kg butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 kg dried pears
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
30 ml brown sugar
Place onions, stock, cloves and allspice in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer until all the stock has been absorbed
Add 45 ml butter and sauté until onions are golden
Add mutton, garlic, ginger and cinnamon and braise over medium heat until meat has a rich brown colour and is almost done
Add butternut pieces, stir, making sure that the meat and butternut are well mixed
Close the saucepan with a close fitting lid and allow bredie to simmer until the butternut is soft
Add dried pears and simmer for 5 minutes
Add the brown sugar, rest of butter and season to taste
Serve with freshly cooked rice.
To concentrate flavours use mutton with a fair amount of fat and bone, 2 cm cubed mutton rib is the best meat to use.
Never boil meat in stock or water, this tends to dry out and toughen the meat.
Don’t add liquid. The juices from the vegetables will make a thick gravy.
Keep the cooking temperature constant, use a medium heat setting, allowing the bredie to simmer gently for a few hours to allow flavours to combine.
The flavour will improve if the bredie is made a day or two in advance.
Cuisine: South African
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