Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Tomato Bredie Mutton/Lamb Stew in Old Cape Malay Style! Absolute BEST!!

Tomato Bredie Mutton/Lamb Stew in Old Cape Malay Style! Absolute BEST!!

Absolutely Hands Down! The BEST TOMATO BREDIE (STEW) EVER!!!!!!

I have been making this all my life! It just doesn’t get better than this! I promise!πŸ˜‰ Tomato bredie (stew) has always been one of my favorites besides curries and it was always my job to make them for supper growing up as a child in South Africa. I used to love coming home from school and making my favorite tomato bredie or curry for supper! Serve simply with some fluffy white steamed rice.πŸ˜‰

Total Calories with 1.5 kg meat includes rice: 6,503
Serves: 6-8

The Malay exiles and slaves brought their traditional dishes with them to the Cape in South Africa which has contributed to the melting pot of South African cuisine. This Tomato Bredie is rich and spicy and remains one of my top favorites as it has stood the test of time!
Cuts of meat you may use are: Chump chops, best end or leg chops, knuckles, rib, neck or loin.Sheep tail fat is great if you can get it and will greatly increase the flavour. Remember fat makes delish!πŸ˜‰ 
You may replace tomatoes with same weight in own pureed tomatoes. Remember tomatoes have a lot of water so be careful in adding water! 
Instead of mutton or lamb you may use stewing beef or chuck but it will not be as niceπŸ˜‰ as this dish is best suited to mutton or lamb.

When cooking with fatty meats like sheep tail fat and fatty rib it is best to start off cooking your meat and onions in no more than a cup of water and topping up as needed until meats release their own fats and water evaporates so that you may then brown your meat and onions in these natural fats adding more flavour with the richness of colour.;)What I did as a child and still do today is I add a chopped potato or two to the pot right at the beginning of cooking (Adding the rest of the potatoes when the meat is halfway done) which will aid in the thickening of the gravy at the end of cooking time without the need for using flour – So you may choose which ever thickening method you prefer.πŸ˜‰
Personally I much prefer mutton for stews as it is far more flavorsome and holds up way better than lamb does during the long slow cooking process.
If you are using Mutton plan on a cooking time of 5 hours.
If you are using lamb – Cooking time will be 2 – 2.5 hours.
Do not rush the meat and keep it on a very low heat just simmering away and remember the higher your temperature the more meat shrinkage there will be and you will end up with less servings and flavor! So keep it on a very gentle long and slow heat.πŸ˜‰

1.2 – 1.5 kg lamb knuckles
60 ml fat, sheep tail (or half oil to butter)
30 ml flour
3 onions, large chopped
410 g canned tomatoes, chopped (with juice) or 8 fresh medium tomatoes
250 ml (1 cup) tomato puree
3 garlic cloves, large (crushed)
6 cardamom, whole (3 ml or 2.5 ml ground)
10 ml (2 tsp) ginger, freshly grated (I stamp to a paste)
pinch cayenne pepper
4 bay leaves
4 cinnamon sticks
1 clove
625 ml beef stock (1 cube or 2 + ½ cups)
15 ml (1 tbsp) sugar added to taste
4 potatoes, medium each cut in 6 pieces
Salt to taste
lemon juice (optional) to taste
1 tbsp sugar or to taste
600 g rice – To serve

  1. Split the cardamom seeds by gently hitting them with a rolling-pin or meat mallet.
  2. In heavy bottomed pot, brown the meat well, a little at a time, in oil or in butter and oil mixed. Remove the meat and reserve.
  3. Lower your heat and sautΓ© the onions until glassy.
  4. Sprinkle the flour into the pan and cook over medium heat until flour is dark brown.
  5. Add all the remaining ingredients except the potatoes, and bring to the boil.
  6. Return the meat to the pot and simmer for about 2 hours (3 hours for beef) until the meat is soft. Add your potatoes, sugar and salt to taste.
  7. Simmer for another 30 minutes or until potatoes are soft.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Irish Stew – Absolute Delish! With Correct Formula! You just can’t go wrong!

Absolute Delish to come home to on cold winter nights!πŸ˜‰

Lovely served just plain with some steamed rice and mixed veggies on the side or a medley of sweet corn, carrots or pumpkin, buttered gems or even some Hubbard squash.
Serves: 5 – 6                                     Total Calories: 6,146

Total Weight of Dish with rice excluding side veggies:4161 g


Do NOT skimp on the onions as it is the onions that really make this dish!
You be the judge – You look at your meat and you decide how fatty or how lean you would like it.
Mutton is the choice for this dish as it is leaner than lamb, has more flavor and holds up well to the long slow cooking method but remember fat is needed – Fat makes delish!πŸ˜‰
Sheep tail fat is a lovely addition which you may render down with onions together with your meat in a little water at the beginning of your cooking. – As your water cooks down it will be replaced by the fats which you then brown your meat and onions in.πŸ˜‰ Sheep tail fat is delish in curries too!πŸ˜‰Mutton is the best choice for this dish but you may replace it with lamb if unavailable.
Best cuts to use are: Chump chops, best end or leg chops, knuckles, rib, neck, or loin.
If using mutton plan on 5 hours of slow gentle cooking. – If lamb plan on 2 – 2.5 hours of slow cooking in same manner. Remember the faster you cook your meat the more shrinkage you will have which means less servings and of course you will then compromise on the lovely favors that slow cooking brings – so keep it low and sloow!πŸ˜‰
Rule of thumb: Use an equal amount meat to weight to onions. This is Irish Stew remember and leeks are even better! Go ahead! Use as much leeks as you wish!
To really boost flavor, you may replace some of your onions by weight with leeks which is an absolute must if they are available and in season especially during the winter time. However this time I couldn’t get any😦 So I just went with plain old’ onions.
1.2 kg mutton, chump chops
1,142 g /ml water
1.2 kg onions, peeled and sliced
1.2 kg potatoes, peeled (I leave my skins on for fiber)
60 g fat
250 g chicken stock, homemade or bouillon cubes to taste
Salt to taste
Pepper, white or black to taste (your choice)
Light sprinkling thyme (optional)
Very light sprinkling, crushed rosemary (optional)
500 rice – To serve

Method: Simmer your meat together with onions in 250 ml water to release fats. Once meat is half way done – You may add your potatoes together with seasonings to taste.
Add homemade browned or chicken stock cubes to taste together with white or black pepper of your choice and a light sprinkling of thyme and or rosemary (optional).
Allow to simmer until tender. Adjust seasonings and continue to simmering on very low heat allowing to just blip away until meat and potatoes are fork tender. Adjust seasonings.

Serve and enjoy!πŸ™‚

Below are my well loved favorites I’ve always relied on for Irish StewπŸ˜‰

Page 1 – Irish Stew ~ My old faithful recipe over the years! Think this is from Mrs Beeton’s book.

Page 2 – Irish Stew ~ My old faithful recipe over the years! Think this is from Mrs Beeton’s book.

Love this book! Every recipe tells a story! The Book is Good Old Food: A Taste from the Past by Irena Chalmers

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Spaghetti RagΓΉ alla Bolognese – Absolute Winner! With Secret Ingredient!

An all-time winner! Serve with lotsa fresh parmesan or sharp cheddar – Delish! And even better the following day! – Enjoy!πŸ˜‰

Be warned: Do NOT be tempted to eat more than you should of this classical favorite! Especially if you are susceptible to “middle age spread!” Place your bowl onto a scale and dish up into that! Count your calories and yes, you’d better!πŸ˜‰

Notes: Don’t forget the garlic which is a very important part of this dish. Add as much as you wish. Adding it freshly crushed as a paste right before serving will really boost the flavor and strength throughout the dish – If you want to save on your garlic, just add it last! If adding too soon the strength will dissipate and weaken as it cooks.
You may include a ratio of 25 percent pork mince to the beef. Personally just go with 100 % beef mince and bacon.
You may take your wine up to 500 ml but I prefer to stick with around 260 ml but I leave that up to your taste buds.
You may use a dry white wine but you are going to get a far deeper and richer colour by going with the red wine.
Oil for frying may be replaced with half oil to butter, chicken schmaltz or whatever you prefer.
Frozen bacon, partially defrosted dices far easier.
Tomato puree: Preferably use fresh oval-shaped Italian tomatoes but normal round ones will also do.

How to Puree Fresh Tomatoes: Precook whole unpeeled tomatoes with their cores until soft with a little sugar and salt to taste, covered in microwave. Puree when they are nice and soft with an immersion blender = fresh pureeπŸ˜‰ Fresh tomato puree is added in accordance with your own taste buds – However do NOT add too much! Too much tomatoes will overpower and throw out the balance of your dish. **The secret is to add a little at a time, just to keeping the moisture and the thickness of your dish.

150 g streaky bacon, finely diced by hand
3 onions, finely chopped
1 1/2 carrots, grated
4 sticks celery, finely diced
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
7.5 ml origanum, dried – OR – 1 tbsp fresh
60 ml oil
600 g lean minced beef
375 ml tomato puree -OR – 45 ml tomato paste, to taste
260 g dry red wine (You may go up to 500 ml if you wish or according to taste or use white if preferred)
2 bay leaves, crushed
3/4 tsp salt, to taste
Pinch black pepper, to taste
Pinch sugar, to taste

3 tsp salt, to taste
600 g / 14 oz spaghetti or tagliatelle
1 recipe chicken liver pate
3 tsp butter, schmaltz or your choice fat

To Serve: Fresh parsley, Freshly Parmesan (Padano or Parmigiano) and or Sharp Cheddar

Dice bacon into small cubes.
Peel and finely dice the onion, carrots and celery -OR – Place all, roughly chopped into food processor together with garlic and pulse with metal blade on until all is finely chopped.
Wash, pat dry and finely chop the parsley. Set aside.
Prepare the chicken liver pate by clicking here
Heat oil in a large saucepan. Brown the minced meat using a potato masher breaking it up finely. As soon as meat is finely broken up and browned, add your bacon together with onions, celery, carrots and garlic and saute a further 3 – 5 minutes.
Add the parsley, origanum, tomato puree (paste), wine, bay leaves, salt, pepper and sugar. Saute gently for 30 minutes over a low heat.
As soon as meat sauce is ready turn off the heat and stir in your chicken liver pate.

Before I cook my pasta I break it up with my hands into shorter pieces. I prefer it that way.
Pasta: Bring the water to the boil and add the salt, the remaining oil over stove top or in microwave. Add the spaghetti to boiling water and cook until ‘al dente’, about 8 minutes or 6 – 7 minutes on high in a 1000 watt microwave oven..
Drain the spaghetti in a colander, add the rest of the butter and serve the sauce on top together with freshly grated parmesan or cheddar – Enjoy!πŸ˜‰

Thursday, 18 August 2016

World's Best Crème Caramel Sago Pudding Ever! Comforting home style pudding at it's very best! Better it doesn't get! ;)

Serve this to the queen and she will say.. “Oh My! This is the BEST Sago pudding I have EVER tasted!” This will become a firm family favorite! I promise!

πŸ˜‰Perfect for all seasons – Served warm or cold. Everybody who tastes this will ask for the recipe – That I promise!πŸ˜‰ This has been the recipe I have been searching for all my life since first tasting it at aged 21. An unforgettable recipe! Throughout my years I never forgot this recipe – I kept looking for it! I never forget a good recipe!πŸ˜‰ Finally now, aged 55 I have it! Yay!!!!! Thanks to Sarie Magazine!πŸ™‚ So here it is just the way I remember it! Made by a chef so many years ago in Port Elizabeth who religiously made it every week for their Sunday Roast Menu and this dessert was always a hit! And gone in a flash! I promise you, you are going to enjoy this one! Love this recipe!! I can eat it every day!! This is good old fashioned home style cooking at it’s very best !! This is absolutely Delish! – Nostalgia in a bowl!! So plain yet so simple!!I remember how the chef used to serve this: He would make up an extra caramel sauce. Throw in some water together with Safari mixed dried fruit and stew them, topping up with water until tender – It was absolutely delicious!

  • Tip: Use the recipe to make caramel sauce in the same 
fashion to bake all your bread and or rice puddings too.πŸ˜‰

Servings: 8     Total Calories of recipe: 3,386 

Total Weight of recipe: 1932 gThis recipe is just unforgettable! All my years I never forgot you!

Notes: You may replace the 4 egg yolks and 2 whole eggs with
4 whole (large) eggs – which is what I used.You may make extra caramel sauce to serve on the side if you have a sweet tooth. Allow pudding to set overnight refrigerated. If using 4 whole large eggs as I have done, then it is not necessary to pour mixture through sieve – Just beat whole eggs and sugar very well with electric beater until fluffy, followed by pouring in your hot milk and cream mixture. I used 10 average sized cinnamon sticks or sometimes I just use 2 whole rolled cinnamon sticks. I never had a vanilla pod and never added but did add vanilla essence to taste but it may be omitted. You may add some optional freshly grated nutmeg to taste which is also lovely together with the cinnamon flavour if you wish. Be wary of adding cinnamon powder and vanilla essence as it can taint the color of your dessert. If you don’t have cinnamon sticks, you may sprinkle with cinnamon powder, nutmeg or combination upon serving. You may bake this in a wok with your bread pan resting on the side walls of your wok over gently boiling water, covered so water / steam does not drip onto surface of pudding. I used the lid of my tupperware dish to cover pudding, placing over wok lid – closing well, steaming and topping up with water as necessary.
I don’t have a sweet tooth so I never make extra caramel sauce.


200 g (250 ml) sago
1 liter of milk
2 vanilla (can be replaced with 5 ml vanilla)
1 cinnamon stick (or up to 10 sticks to taste) or 2 rolls
100 g (110 ml) butter

Place a large plate over surface and invert pudding to remove.

150 g (190 ml) sugar 
80 ml water or as needed

120 ml milk
125 ml cream
4 egg yolks, large
2 eggs, large
5 ml vanilla essence
75 g (95 ml) sugar

I used a double layer all in one cake pan. If you use a standard loaf sized pan it will come to just about over-flowing so you will need to eat the balance.

Method: 1

Prepare the sago:
Cold soak refrigerated overnight at best or at least 2 hours in warmed milk on counter or until “completely transparent”. Scrape seeds from vanilla pod and add to sago together with cinnamon stick/s or 2 rolls and butter.Cook on high 8 minutes in 1000 watt microwave or on stove top until sago is “completely transparent”. Remove from heat. Allow cooling. Remove all cinnamon sticks.

Prepare caramel:

Preheat oven to 160 ° C.Dissolve sugar thoroughly in 80 ml water and only once it has completely dissolved, bring it to boil. The minute it starts changing colour, take care not to allow it to change too quickly as it can burn in the wink of an eye.. so take your time. Have your extra 80 ml cold water on hand to pour over and take the temperature down if it looks like it’s turning color too fast and continue to boil lowering and raising the heat until it is a lovely golden brown and tastes like caramel. Allow caramel to cool in pot making sure it is not thick but just on the syrupy runny 
side as caramel sauce should be. Grease a 15 x 10 cm large 
bread pan with butter or spray with a non-stick cooking spray. Pour caramel sauce into bread tin and set aside.

Continue preparing of custard:
Bring milk and cream in a clean pot to boil. Beat egg yolks, eggs, vanilla and 75 g sugar until light and fluffy with electric beater. Beat extremely well! Pour on hot milk all whilst continuously beating – beat very well to cook and thicken the eggs. Pour entire mixture through a sieve (optional) and stir egg mixture into sago mixture blending in well with spoon or spatula. Pour sago mixture over back of spoon or spatula into loaf pan containing caramel sauce. Place pan into a baking dish and fill dish 
halfway with warm water so that water comes halfway up sidesof bread tin. Cover with foil or suitable cover so that water or steam can run off and not into your pudding. Bake pudding bain marie (in hot water bath) 50-60 minutes or until set like jelly, wobbly and just giggly but must be set in the center – If you place your finger gently around the the outer edges of pudding you should be able to pull it slightly away from the walls of the tin. Remove from oven, cool and refrigerate until 
completely set overnight.

To serve: Carefully run a very thin spatula or knife around the outer edges of tin to loosen sides. Find a suitable container and place over the bread tin and very quickly invert / flip over turning the whole thing upside down and turn out. Serve and Enjoy!πŸ˜‰

Method 2:

Make Caramel Sauce: Weigh the sugar into the pan 

followed by the 80 ml water and stir over low heat until thoroughly dissolved. Bring to a rolling boil whilst stirring 
briskly until you notice it turning a deep rich golden brown. 
From here on continue whilst constantly lowering and raising 
the heat until a deep rich brown. Watch it carefully as from this 
point it can burn in a flash and in this case you will have to 
start all over from scratch. Quickly before it burns pour in the cold water whilst stirring briskly. Grease a large bread pan and pour in the caramel sauce. Set aside.

Prepare the custard: Place your bowl of sago mixture onto 
scale and weigh in the butter. Stir to melt. Remove the 
cinnamon sticks / rolls and vanilla seeds. Set aside.
To a micro-safe container placed on scale weigh in the milk. 
Bring to boil in microwave oven or on stove.
To another container break in your eggs and weigh in the 
sugar. Beat until smooth.
Bring milk to a rolling boil in micro-safe pot and pour over the eggs and sugar whilst beating constantly with electric whisk 
until a smooth cream. Stir custard mixture into sago blending 
in well or pour custard mixture through sieve if you are using 
the 6 eggs. Remove cinnamon sticks and weigh in your cream, adding grated nutmeg and vanilla essence to taste if not using 
a vanilla pod and set aside.

Preheat oven to 160°C or bring water to a gentle boil if you 
are going to bake on stove-top. 
If baking in oven: Fill a pan with water and place bread pan, covered with foil in hot water bath.
If you are using a wok or pot over stove-top to bake pudding: In the bottom of a pot or wok place a trivet or metal rack. Add some water just to reach the surface of rack or trivet 
to create a hot water bath and heat up.
Empty pudding mixture into large metal double layer cake or bread pan. Place in hot water bath in oven, pot on stove-top or electric wok with water to come halfway up sides of pan. Cover pan with foil and close pot or wok with lid and bake 50 – 60 minutes or until set like jelly. Remove. Set aside to cool. Refrigerate until set. Turn out carefully by placing a large plate over surface and inverting to remove. Serve and Enjoy! ;)

Recipe has been adapted from Sarie Magazine South Africa
First soak the sago together with vanilla seeds scraped from vanilla pod into milk (discard the pod or add it to flavor sugar bowl) Add cinnamon sticks to milk and gently bring boil on 
and off, whilst steeping in between for 2 hours or until sago is 
soft and completely transparent. Stir in butter and Remove 
cinnamon sticks before use.

Sago crème caramel by Herman Lensing.