Bobotie, that gets its name from the Indonesian “bobotok”, is a very old South African dish, which originated in Indonesia or Malaysia & was brought to Africa by Dutch traders waaay back in history! You can bake it in a regular casserole or the way I like it – in a ‘Moroccan Tagine’. Bobotie is typically served with geelrys (yellow rice) and a side of mango chutney or any sour-sweet chutney called blatjang.
2-3 tbsp Oil
2 Onions, thinly sliced
1kg or about 2lbs ground beef
2-3 slices white bread, crust removed and cut into cubes
1 cup milk
1/4 cupvinegar or lemon juice
1/2 cup raisins
2tbsp Curry powder
Salt and pepper – to season
5 Bay leaves / lemon leaves
2 Eggs, beaten
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium flame. Add the onions and sauté until translucent and just starting to brown. Add the ground beef and break it up while sautéing until cooked through and crumbly. Remove from heat, drain of any excess fat and place in a large bowl.
- Put the bread and milk in a bowl and soak for 5-10 minutes. Remove the bread and squeeze it dry, adding squeezed milk back into the bowl.
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Add the soaked bread, vinegar or lemon juice, raisins, sugar, curry powder, turmeric, salt and pepper to the bowl with the cooked meat and mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings. The meat should have a pleasantly sweet-sour flavor.
- Pour the meat mixture into a greased casserole dish and smooth out the top. Lay the bay leaves over the meat in a decorative pattern and press down lightly to make them stick. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
- Beat the eggs with the reserved bread-soaking milk. After the meat has baked for 30 minutes, pour the egg-milk mixture over the top of the meat and bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until the custard is set and lightly browned.
- Remove from the oven and serve hot with geelrys (yellow rice) & mango chutney.
- Add a couple tablespoons of mango chutney, apricot preserves or grated apple to the meat if you like.
- Stir a handful of toasted almonds/ pine nuts into the meat mixture before cooking, or garnish the finished dish with toasted almonds or pine nuts.
- Add one or two beaten eggs into the meat mixture.
- Use ground lamb in place of the beef – it cooks faster.
- For more ‘tagine’ recipes, visit www.cookingwithalia.com