One of the indigenous plants that come into its own at this time of year is the waterblommetjie. Meaning “small water flower”, waterblommetjies are harvested from dams and marshes throughout the Boland region of Western Cape during the months of July and August and stewed together with meat, typically lamb, to make “waterblommetjiebredie”.
The texture of the flowers is somewhat like miniature artichoke leaves, but the taste steers more towards green beans with a hint of lemon.
The secret to a well-made waterblommetjie bredie lies in its simplicity. Salt, white pepper, onions, lamb or mutton, and waterblommetjies are all that’s required.
It’s also important to use fatty, on-the-bone lamb cuts and to brown the meat really well, which all adds to the bredie’s irresistible depth of flavour.
Waterblommetjiebredie should only be stirred at the very end and is always served with plain white rice.
- 1 kg lamb(knuckle or neck)
- Cake flour to dust meat.
- Olive oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 1 ½ cups lamb stock
- 2 tablespoons soya sauce
- 1.5 kg waterblommetjies
- 500 grams baby potatoes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lemon, zested
- Dust meat with flour. Add a glug of olive oil to your casserole dish and bring to high heat.
- Brown the meat in batches until golden brown. Do not add it all at the same time as you won’t get that perfect golden colour!
- Add the onions and fry until soft. Add the garlic and fry for a further five minutes.
- Add the coriander, nutmeg, cayenne pepper and fry for a further two minutes.
- Add the lamb stock and make sure you deglaze the bottom of the pot to get all the flavour. Add the soya sauce.
- Close the lid and reduce the heat to medium heat and let cook for 40 minutes.
- Mix in half of the waterblommetjies and cook for a further 20 minutes.
- Add the potatoes and the remaining waterblommetjies and cook for a further 30 minutes on low-medium heat.
- Add the lemon zest five minutes before serving.