Good old tamatie bredie. (Tomato stew)

It is a week away from Chinese New Year (also called Lunar New Year) and it is bitterly cold in Taiwan.  When I say bitterly cold, I can hear the collective snigger coming from my readers in the UK, US and Canada.  Yes, yes I know 10C at 87% humidity is hardly the -23C my Canadian friends had to endure today.  But you know, this is supposed to be a subtropical island.  Also, earthquake-proof buildings (read made entirely of concrete) are cold and damp and we have no heating or double glazing.  The cold simply creeps up from the tiled concrete floor and then crawls up your legs and body until you shiver with cold.

Perfect weather for a stew, I hear you say.  That's exactly what I thought!  I've been missing my mum's tamatie bredie (Afrikaans for tomato stew) for a long time, so last night I thought it was high time to make some comfort food.  To be honest, it was way too cold and windy to go out on my scooter to buy ingredients, so I had to make do with what was in the house.  It came out great though!  This is my plain, nothing fancy tamatie bredie!

Slowly bubbling away.

Tamatie Bredie


  • a glug of oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1.5 kg stewing lamb or mutton (I used beef to be safe.  The Chinese word for sheep and goat is similar and you never really know what you are getting.)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste (for me, tamatie bredie loves pepper!)
  • 500ml stock or wine
  • 500g potatoes, peeled and sliced (not too small, we don't want mush)
  • 1kg tomatoes, skinned and chopped (I didn't have fresh tomatoes, so I used Hunt's canned whole tomatoes.)
  • 1 to 2 tsp sugar
  • 1tsp marjoram (fresh, if you have.  I didn't so I used 1tsp dried oregano in stead.)

  1. Heat the oil in a large casserole (I use my Ikea Le Creuset rip off ) and sauté the onions and garlic until it starts to soften.
  2. Add meat and quickly brown on all sides.  Add salt, pepper and a little stock.  Cover with a lid and simmer the meat for 1 to 1 and a half hours or until the meat starts to get tender.  Add a little more stock or wine from time to time, if needed.
  3.  Now add the potatoes, tomatoes sugar and herbs and simmer, with the lid on, for another hour.  If the sauce is too thin, remove the lid and let it reduce slightly.  Taste and adjust seasoning.
  4. Serve with cooked rice.
REMEMBER:  If you are making this stew in Taiwan, watch your pot very carefully.  Stoves in Taiwan are much higher in temperature that our western stoves, even on the lowest setting.  Because of the sugar content of tomatoes, they can burn easily, if you don't watch out!


  1. Oh man. I am so hungry now...

  2. Ooo KOEK! And here you are too! Thank you so much for the visit...and the comment, of course. Much appreciated!

  3. Dit lyk fabulous! I don't think I've ever had goat, but I agree that beef is the better option here.

  4. Dankie Adele! There was an article in the local English paper a few weeks ago that said that 90% of locally produced mutton is in fact goat.

    In Chinese "goat" is "Shānyáng" (山羊) and sheep is "Yáng" (羊) but mostly it is just called Yáng. So you are never sure what it is.

    I'm sure goat is delicious, but not for me, thanks.

  5. Indian mutton is also goat! Allegedly goat is really nice and healthy but *ahem* it is just not something I am used to and we also stick to beef in these parts of the world. Does that mean we are boring??

  6. Thanks for the visit, Helmet Hair! Well, the foodies had a discussion about this on Twitter the other day. We were quite surprised at the, sometimes odd things, we don't eat. We came to the conclusion that we are mature enough eaters to know what we like and what we dislike.

    Does this make us boring? Maybe, but I don't think so.

  7. Thanks so much for this recipe! I made it yesterday, on a cold miserable Melbourne winters day. Comfort food at its best. I used the slow cooker and the aroma filled the entire house. My kids ( notoriously fussy) couldn't get enough , had seconds and claimed the leftovers for their lunch today! On the inside...Madame verlang for the Boland...

    1. Thank you so much for your visit and comment Ms Lizzard! Yep, I tried this one on my Taiwanese family too and it was a winner! There is something about cooking this one low and slow that just intensifies the taste of the tomatoes.

      Kitchenboy verlang ook vir die Boland!


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