Recipe: Tomato Bredie or South African Style Beef Stew

A few days ago, a friend interviewed me on my “food history” for a class paper. It was really fun to talk about my family history, starting a temple with a new rabbi in the back of  chinese food restaurant, and living in a 2 bedroom apartment with an entire other family (yup, 8 people, one bed room). The heart of the interview was the fact that because of all of that history, my food habits were formed.

I cooked a cornish game hen in white wine sauce for my mom’s dinner party when I was 10. True story. As you can see, cooking is as much a part of my personal history as the town I grew up in! One of my very favorite recipes is for South African Tomato Bredie (a tomato based stew). Traditionally bredie is made with mutton (aka lamb), however, I used beef instead.

This is a great, hearty meal, perfect for when you have had record breaking snow fall and are in the middle of an artic snap (ahem…Boston). Serve it simply in a bowl with a spoon, or over egg noodles. rice, or mashed potatoes. Whatever you decide to do with it, rest assured that this meal will warm you up! And also rest assured that I will be smiling knowing that a favorite family recipe is becoming another family’s favorite!


Tomato Bredie


  • 1 lb Stew Meat (cut into bite sized pieces)
  • 1/4 lb thick cut bacon (chopped) – I use Whole Foods Black Forest Bacon
  • 1 medium Vidalia Onion (chopped into thick pieces)
  • 2 large garlic cloves (thinly sliced)
  • 3 medium carrots (peeled and sliced)
  • 3 medium parsnips (peeled and sliced)
  • 7 baby potatoes (washed and quartered)
  • 1 medium turnip (peeled and cubed)
  • 1 cup Pepsi or Coke
  • 12 oz tomato paste
  • 14.5 oz beef broth
  • 1/3 cup of water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt & pepper


  • You may use either a pressure cooker, dutch oven or large stock pot for this meal. I used a pressure cooker due to time constraints
  • Heat your pot over medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray
  • When hot, add the bacon and cook until browned. If the fat is plentiful enough to cover the bacon, drain half of the fat while cooking
  • Once bacon is brown, add onions and garlic and cook until brown (about 3 – 5 minutes)
  • Remove bacon, onions and garlic from the pot and set aside
  • Add stew meat to the pot, salt and pepper to taste, and cook until brown, allowing the juices to cook down
  • Once the meat is brown and the juices are cooked in, add the bacon & onions and the remaining vegetables to the pot
  • Stir well and cook for 3 minutes
  • Pour in soda, stir well, and let cook for 1 minute
  • Add tomato paste and stir well
  • Bring to a boil, stir and then return to a boil
  • Add 1/3 of the beef broth and stir well
  • Add the 2nd 1/3 of the beef broth and stir well
  • Add the remainder of the beef broth, water and the bay leaves, and stir well
  • Pressure Cooker- Put lid on pressure cooker. Once pressure is built, cook for 15 minutes, remove from heat, and allow to release pressure while sitting off of the heat. Once pressure is down, remove lid
  • Dutch Oven- Cover pot and place in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 1.5 hours, or until meat is tender
  • Stock Pot- Cover pot and allow to simmer for 1.5 hours, or until eat is tender.
  • Serve in a bowl as is, or over egg noodles, rotini, mashed potatoes or rice!

12 Replies to “Recipe: Tomato Bredie or South African Style Beef Stew”

  1. This looks fantastic! I love a hearty beef stew, I almost always add tomato paste to mine because the flavor is so fantastic. Obvs this is going on my must try list!

  2. Glad I could help get you thinking about your fave dishes! This looks great – I will have to try it out. And I will pronounce it with a proper South African accent. 🙂

  3. I have had an African Style Beef Stew before. A friend of mine tried a recipe from a Crock Pot cookbook that I thought to be excellent and had recommended to her. She served the stew at a dinner party. I actually did a blog post about the dinner party. The stew was excellent and very similar to yours.

    Carolyn/A Southerners Notebook

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