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This is an old family favourite, and please forgive me if the quantities are not very precise - it's just one of those dishes we cook with no exact ingredient measures. I have also adapted it for the pressure cooker, which makes a somewhat fresher-flavoured stew in half the time of the original.

To give the whole affair a Cape Malay twist, steam some garlic, green ginger and chillies with the meat and serve the tomato and onion salad chopped into cubes, also with a touch of green chilli.

My Mother's Cucumber Sambal:

Grate an English cucumber and half an onion. Salt to taste and set aside for half an hour.

Squeeze out the juices and flavour with white wine vinegar, sugar and a lot of white pepper. Chill for an hour or two.


  • 6 round slices of lamb neck, not too thin
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon toasted and ground coriander seeds
  • 3 whole cloves or 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • salt and white pepper
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into eight pieces each
  • 1 lb fresh greenbeans cut into 1/2-inch lengths
  • a lump of good butter


  • Steam the lamb neck, onion and spices (salt sparingly) with 1/2 cup of water for half an hour or until very tender. (In the pressure cooker I use this means that there is still a good bit of juice left; otherwise add another half cup before the next step - the stew should end up moist but without runny juices).
  • Add the potatoes and beans and steam for another 5 minutes, by which the potatoes should be falling apart.
  • Taste for seasoning (quite peppery is good) and mash the potatoes, beans and a fair-sized lump of butter with a potato masher.
  • It doesn't matter if some bits of the meat come off the bone and get mixed into the mashed potatoes and beans.
  • Serve with glazed carrots and a sweet and sour tomato and onion salad.

Categories: African 
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