21 December 2011

Bobotie - the more simple version, but just as good!

It just goes to show how behind I am with keeping the blog up to date, that this blog post is about last Thursday's Bobotie!  I blame the advent of Christmas (literally!) with all its shopping and organising - not to mention racing Son & heir all over the neighbourhood, to keep up with his social engagements!

This Bobotie, however, just had to be blogged.  I've made Bobotie once before from a Rachel Allen recipe and we all thoroughly enjoyed it.  That recipe, however, was a touch more complicated than this Kevin Dundon version.  I would liken the difference between the two to being a situation where you'd use the Rachel Allen one for a dinner party, whereas the Kevin Dundon version is far more suitable for a mid-week dinner for the family.

As such, it was perfect.  Satisfyingly simple to prepare, it even gave me time to cook some lovely carrot & parsnip mash (which I'd make again - simply boil some cut carrots, then add the parsnip when the carrots are nearly done.  Drain, add plenty of butter and black pepper and blitz until smooth.  Got the thumbs up from the whole family) and shredded cabbage, all of which went perfectly with the Bobotie.

Bobotie consists of a fairly dry (so a gravy is a must), mildly curry spiced, lamb mince mixture.  However, there are a couple of interesting turns that the meat mixture makes, not least the inclusion of a couple of slices of bread which have been soaked in milk.  On first reading, you need to suspend disbelief for a while and really concentrate on how you feel the flavours will meld together.  

Hand me a spoon, I could dive right in!

Owing to my having drained the fat from the meat, I found that I needed to add around 200ml of water to the meat mixture prior to putting it in the oven to bake, which next time I would make into vegetable stock rather than just water - and have included in the recipe below.  However, the flavours were gorgeous.  Slightly sweet, slightly spicy, very lamby and with a tangy edge, the egg mixture that is poured on top adds a mildly foamy, interesting layer once it has been baked.  It didn't resemble scrambled egg, or an omelette, or baked eggs - it has a texture and a flavour all of its own.

I'm very definitely going to include this as one of our regular standby meals.  For me, being on a low carbohydrate diet, it was completely perfect even with its one slice of bread.  Divide that into three portions and your body won't notice your third is even there.  It is one of those meals that, most pleasantly, you don't miss the lack of potatoes or some other carbohydrate input - and that makes a nice change!

BOBOTIE (the easier version)  Serves 3

Ingredients :

1 slice of bread
60ml milk
1 tbsp sunflower or olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped fine
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ tsp grated ginger root
1 flat tsp mild curry powder
½ tsp turmeric
500g minced lamb
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp tomato chutney
¼ of a lemon, juiced
30g raisins
100-200ml vegetable stock
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
100ml milk (reserved from soaking the bread - for the topping).

Method :

1.  Pre-heat the oven to 170deg C/325deg F/Gas 3.

2.  Soak the bread in the milk for around 10 minutes, then strain (I helped it along with a little squeeze), reserving the milk and fluff the bread up with a fork.

3.  Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onions and saute until softened.  Add the garlic, ginger, curry powder and turmeric and mix quickly to coat the onions in the spices.  Remove from the pan and reserve somewhere to keep warm.

4.  Add the minced lamb to the pan and break up with a wooden spoon.  Fry until well browned, then drain off the fat - leaving the meat in the pan.

5.  Re-introduce the onion mixture to the pan and stir well to combine.  Add the sugar, mashed bread, chutney, lemon juice and raisins to the mixture and mix well again.  Add enough stock until you have the mixture moistened sufficiently, without becoming "saucy".  Season with salt & pepper to taste.

6.  Decant the mixture into a casserole dish, level the top and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

7.  For the topping, mix the milk and eggs together, then remove the casserole from the oven and pour the egg mixture on top of the meat.  Bake for a further 20 minutes or so, or until the egg mixture is browned on top and the edges are starting to sizzle.

8.  Serve.



  1. I adore Bobotie, it always makes me think of my childhood as it was one of my mums staple recipes

  2. I find it amazing how many people are saying this - yet I only discovered it last year! Mind you, I suspect the reason my Mum never made it is because of the curry powder element. She's deeply suspicious of anything involving curry!


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