Some readers may have noticed that my summer blogging activity has been somewhat laid back. Some may say tardy. Lazy even. I put my hands up- you’re right- and today I have a confession to make…I’ve been cheating. All of the love and attention that I normally dedicate to Broccoli and Rice Cakes has been directed elsewhere. Yes, indeed. Over the course of the summer, I’ve developed a love affair with East Africa.
So, I realise that this may be a slightly strange admission to make. Some explanation may help. Over the past few months, I have been busy plotting, researching, and dreaming about a trip to Africa. All of my spare energy, excitement and online activity has been dedicated to the online pursuit of all things East African. Broccoli and Rice Cakes hasn’t had much of a look in. Sorry.
As my East African endeavours are beginning to culminate in actual, real plans, it’s high time that I got back to a bit of Broccoli. I start in a slightly odd place, presenting the South African Bredie. The Bredie is a South African stew, typically cooked for a long time and usually with a meatier set of ingredients than the ones I present here. I do realise that South Africa isn’t in East Africa (my geography isn’t that bad) but on my virtual trip around East Africa, I took a detour and ended up in South Africa. Thus, although difficult to say, this Green Bean and Kabuki Pea Bredie is a quicker and vegetarian version of a traditional South African stew but with a special British twist.
The British twist comes in the form of the kabuki pea, also known as marrowfat pea. These are the British grown peas and typically used to make the (in) famous dish of mushy peas (typically served with fish and chips). I had some dried kabuki peas kicking around in my cupboard. I bought them with great enthusiasm a while ago but I’d never really found a good dish to cook them in. So, I thought I’d try some kabuki peas in this dish. They add a nice meatiness, are full of protein and other good stuff.
To my surprise, the kabuki peas and everything else went down a storm! The whole family really liked this Bredie. We will definitely be making this again and it may even join the ranks of staple Autumn stew which is currently dominated by the Bean and Parsley Stew with Dumplings. This recipe serves up to 4 with rice.
- Glug of sunflower oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed or chopped finely
- 1cm fresh ginger, finely chopped or grated
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp mild chilli powder
- 1 tsp thyme (fresh or dried)
- 3 fresh tomatoes, preferably skinned (see below)
- 100g green beans, trimmed and cut in half
- 200g cooked kabuki peas
- 1 potato, cubed (optional)
- Pinch of vegetable bouillon
- If you are planning to skin your tomatoes then start by placing them in a small bowl, covering them in boiling hot water and leaving them to stand for a little while. After 10 minutes or so, pierce the tomato skin with a knife and then peel it off with your fingers. The skin should come off really easily. If it doesn’t then leave the tomatoes in the hot water for a little while longer. You can also skip this stage and just use skin-on tomatoes if you prefer!
- Using a large pan, fry the onion in the sunflower oil until beginning to brown.
- Add the garlic, ginger, coriander, chill powder and thyme (I used a few sprigs of fresh lemon thyme). Stir and fry for a few minutes.
- Add all the remaining ingredients: the tomatoes, green beans, kabuki peas and potato (if using). Pour in 300ml of water and add the pinch of bouillon. Give everything a good stir, cover the pan with a lid and leave to simmer for around 25 minutes. You can give the Bredie an occasional stir but it doesn’t really need much attention. The flavours would probably develop nicely over time but we ate our Bredie straight away, served with rice.