South African waterblommetjie bredie (serves 4)

Waterblommetjies (literally "little water flowers" in Afrkaans) are the edible flower stalks of a native South African aquatic plant that grows wild in the Western Cape province.  They make a delicious and unusual stew together with lamb and sorrel, and are available in tins in specialist South African shops around the world.


1kg lamb short ribs, bone in (or I used 750g lamb leg steaks, cubed)
olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
250ml dry white wine
500ml lamb or beef stock
salt and pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground coriander
500g potatoes, chopped (I used halved baby potatoes)
400g tin of waterblommetjies, drained
2 handfuls fresh watercress, plus some to garnish


Pre-heat the oven to 180C. 

Heat a little olive oil in a heavy-based pan.  Season the meat with salt and pepper and brown in batches in the olive oil.  Remove the meat from the pan and transfer to oven-proof casserole.  Add the onions, garlic, cayenne pepper and coriander and fry gently until the onions are translucent.  Add the onion mix to the casserole (you can deglaze the pan with a splash of the wine, scrape up any bits and add to the casserole dish).

Add the wine, the stock, and the potatoes.  Bring to a gentle simmer.  Cover the casserole dish with a tight-fitting lid and place in the oven to simmer gently for about 60 minutes (or until the meat is tender. 

Add the waterblommetjies on top of the casserole and two good handfuls of watercress.  Return to the oven for a further 15 minutes.  Before serving, you may want to thicken the gravy either by stirring in a little cornstarch mixed with water, or by mashing up a couple of the potato pieces in the stew and stirring the mash into the gravy.

Serve on creamy mashed potatoes.

Another great recipe from
© J Horak-Druiff 2010