8 August 2008

SA recipe: Bobotie

This is a traditional dish brought to South Africa by Malay slaves. Originally this dish was prepared from the Sunday lunch leftover meat for the evening supper and baked in an oven created from an unused antheap!

Here's what you'll need: vegetable oil, chutney, salt, apricot jam, mild curry powder, turmeric, mixed herbs, bay leaves, two pounds of minced beef (hamburger meat), a slice and a half of bread (or one thick slice, about an inch thick), dried apricots, onions and eggs.

First break up the bread and soak it in half a cup of milk.

Drain the bread. You'd use a spoon to press the bread back as you pour the milk off, but hello - only two hands here! And I was holding the camera.

Mix the bread into the meat.

Finely chop the onions and add them.

Ditto the dried apricots.

Add a tablespoon of apricot jam.

And another of chutney.

I use this chutney - it's the best in the world. I'm so glad it's available here in Sainsbury's, even though it's South African.

Add a tablespoon of mild curry powder.

A teaspoon of turmeric (and one of mixed herbs, not pictured.)

Ooh, action shot of the salt going in! You'll want to add about 2 teaspoons.

Okay so here's where the shots stop because I had to time all of the dishes and get them ready for our guests' arrival. (I prepared the meat up until this point the day before and then refrigerated the mixture.)

Using a little oil, stir-fry the meat mixture in batches to brown it, then tip into a casserole dish. Mix the three eggs with half a cup of milk and pour on top, add a few bay leaves. Bake in oven until the custard topping is set.

Okay, sorry this pic isn't so appetising, it's the cold leftovers - I'll have them for supper tonight.

Copy and paste for a printable recipe:


2 lbs lean ground beef or mutton - room temperature
1 and a half slices white bread - crusts removed
1 cup milk
1 medium onion - chopped fine
½ cup dried apricots - chopped fine
1 tablespoon apricot jam
1 tablespoon fruity chutney
1 teaspoon mixed herbs
1 tablespoon mild curry powder
1 teaspoon tumeric
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon cooking oil
3 eggs
4 bay leaves

Pre-heat oven to 350F, 180C. Spray a large casserole dish with non stick spray.

Soak bread in a 1/2 cup of the milk, press dry and mix with lean ground meat. Mix the rest of the ingredients except the leftover milk, cooking oil, eggs, and bay leaves into meat mixture.

Heat oil in a large sauce pan and sauté meat mixture until just browned. Transfer meat mixture to prepared casserole, spread nice and evenly.

Beat eggs into left-over milk and pour over meat mixture, garnish with bay leaves. Bake at 350F, 180C until the egg custard has set. Serve with yellow rice.

Make ahead: I mixed up the meat mixture and refrigerated it. All I had to do before guests arrived was fry the meat and bake the bobotie. You could make the whole thing in advance and reheat.

To serve at dinner party: I served this buffet-style on my kitchen counter, together with the Yellow Rice and Tamatiebredie and fresh steamed carrots and broccoli, so my guests could help themselves and return to the table to eat.

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