The Ultimate Waterblommetjie Bredie with Pork and Baby Potato

Winter in the Boland brings with it two of my favourite things: arum lilies and waterblommetjies. The street vendors stand on the side of the road with arms full of the milky-white flowers and packets of freshly picked waterblommetjies. I always buy a few packets so that I can freeze them to use when the season is over. Thankfully, this year the harvest seems to be abundant!

When we first moved the region seven years ago, I could remember eating this delicacy only once before when we visited the Cape while living abroad. I probably had it as a child, but it clearly didn’t make as big an impression on me as it did as an adult. When I saw the street vendors with the little hardy flowers that first year, I immediately bought a packet and rushed home to ask our nanny, a local of the valley, how to prepare it.

Here’s Joelene’s answer:

Throw in a pot a bit of meat and onions. Then add spices like cloves and bay leaf or whatever you have in the house, and white pepper. Then add a cup of water and some potatoes, and once they’re cooked, add the waterblommetjies. Then slowly simmer until the flowers are tender. Oh, and surings! (Waterblommetjies love a bit of acidity, which is where these sour yellow flowers come in. You can read more about this super sour sorrel here.)

I have cooked waterblommetjies countless time over the years, and while this recipe is not necessarily the traditional way to cook it, it is certainly a delicious way!

cape waterblommetjies

 

WATERBLOMMETJIES are wild water flowers that grows in dams in the Western Cape during the winter. I have read that you can substitute it with green beans, but I think artichoke hearts are probably a better choice.

How to make Waterblommetjies with Pork and New Potatoes

You will need:

  • 500g waterblommetjies, rinsed (fresh is always better, otherwise get the preserved version from your deli)
  • 1kg of stewing pork
  • 2 onions, cut and diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2.5ml of fine cloves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • salt and white pepper to taste
  • 1 cup of dry white wine (sauvignon blanc works well – you can also substitute this with 100ml lemon juice mixed with 150ml water)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 500g new potatoes, peeled

* I use a slow cooker for this recipe, but you can also place it a heavy casserole dish or cast iron Dutch oven on the stovetop on a very low temperature. Check the liquid regularly to ensure it doesn’t become too dry.

waterblommetjies in slow cooker

Method:

PLace the onions, garlic, meat and spices in the pot. Then layer the potatoes on top and add the wine and water. Put the slow cooker on high and cook until the potatoes are tender (about 3 hours). Then add the waterblommetjies on top and cook for another 2 to 3 hours, until they are also tender. Try to resist stirring the pot as this will cause the waterblommetjies to break. Taste the liquid to see if it needs any more seasoning.

crusty sourdough bread

Serve in a deep dish with crusty sourdough bread to mop up the delicious juices.

Happy Eating!

Waterblommetjies in Enamel Bowl images courtesy of Shutterstock

Winter Warmers: traditional and tangy vinegar pudding

The days for warm puddings are getting fewer but my yearning for weekends spent in front of the fireplace has not yet been satisfied. While I am clinging on to winter, I find myself searching for traditional comfort food more and more. It was on one of these recipe-hunting adventures that I found this traditional dessert in my trusty old Kook & Geniet (Cook & Enjoy). It is filled with amazing old-school South African recipes and reminds me of Sunday lunch at my gran’s house.  As my neighbour pointed out when I told her of my intention to make this for our lunch on Woman’s Day, the term “vinegar pudding” is really a contradiction in terms. But this delicious, warming pudding is filled with sweet and tangy goodness that will make you want to lick out the bowl.

For the sauce, you will need:

  • 500ml water
  • 500ml sugar
  • 125ml vinegar (plain white spirit vinegar is fine)

For the pudding, you will need:

  • 25ml butter
  • 125ml sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 375ml cake flour
  • 10ml fine ginger (I didn’t have ginger, so I substituted with cinnamon which was great!)
  • pinch of salt
  • 5ml bicarb
  • 2.5ml nutmeg
  • 30ml apricot  jam or honey

Method:

  • First, make the sauce: Cook the water, vinegar, and sugar together in a small saucepan until all the sugar had dissolved. Leave to cool, and then pour into a greased oven dish.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Beat the butter and sugar together, and then add the eggs.
  • Sift together the dry ingredients, and add to the butter mixture.
  • Add the jam or honey and stir well.
  • Spoon the thick dough into the dish with the sauce – no need to mix anything!
  • Bake for 30 – 40, until the pudding is beautifully brown on top.

When you dish it up, drizzle with a spoon full of the sauce. Serve with a hearty dollop of warm custard or whipped cream and enjoy.

Happy baking!

The pretty bowls were a gift from my sister – aren’t they just lovely!! x