Bobotie is a South African meat casserole topped with an egg custard, usually made with milk. There are many bobotie recipes out there, but after trying various, I’ve settled on this as being my favorite, which also happens to be kosher. This recipe is good for any time of year, but I tend to make it more in the winter as a comfort food. It’s my go-to easy dish that I make for non-South African friends and they always rave about it and love the unique sides (bananas, coconut and chutney). It’s an odd combo, but trust me, it’s delicious.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil for frying
- 2 medium yellow onion, chopped
- ½ pound ground beef
- ½ pound ground lamb (or use 1 pound all beef, if preferred)
- 2 tablespoons mild curry powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon turmeric plus a pinch
- ½ tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons chutney (peach or a chili depending on how spicy you like it)
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup raisins (optional)
- 2 eggs
- Bay leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot and cook the finely chopped onion over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes, until softened and translucent. Add the meat and turn the heat up, stirring briskly to “crumble” the meat and brown it without letting clumps form. Add all the curry powder, sugar, salt, pepper, ½ teaspoon turmeric, lemon juice and chutney, and stir through. Once mixed, add enough water to reach the top of the mixture in the pot, and proceed to cook vigorously for at least 20 to 25 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the meat has a lovely loose, granular texture. Stir well.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease the inside of a large baking dish or loaf pan. Set aside until needed. If you’re using raisins, stir them into your meat until evenly spread throughout the mixture. Remove from heat and add the breadcrumbs, stirring until mixture comes together.
- Spoon the meat into the baking dish and smooth with the back of a large spoon. Beat the eggs until completely smooth, whisk in 2 tablespoons water, the pinch of turmeric, salt and pepper, and pour carefully over the meat. Push the bay leaves upright into the bobotie and bake until golden brown and nicely set on top, about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove and let stand for 15 minutes at least, before serving with rice, banana and chutney. Remove the bay leaves before serving.