South African Bobotie
Elizabeth Herz was born and raised in South Africa, where her mother cooked with local ingredients (including ostrich eggs). Chicken eggs work just fine, according to Elizabeth, who recommends serving this tender beef custard with chutney, rice, and chopped tomatoes.
Serves8 to 10
Cooking Methodbaking, sauteeing
Total Timeunder 1 hour
One Pot MealYes
OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get-together
Recipe Coursemain course
Dietary Considerationpeanut free, soy free
Taste and Texturecreamy, fruity, meaty, savory, spiced, sweet
Type of Dishcasserole
- 2 thick slices country-style white bread, crusts removed
- 1 cup warm milk
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons curry paste or powder
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 2 pounds minced raw or cooked lamb
- 1 tablespoon apricot jam
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
- 1 egg, whisked
- ¼ cup raisins
- 20 roasted whole almonds
- 3 eggs
- 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 2 cups milk
- Sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a flat bowl, soak the bread in the warm milk.
In a nonreactive heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until the onion is translucent, 5 minutes. Add the curry and coriander and cook until the spices no longer smell raw, 5 minutes more. Add the lamb and sauté, breaking up the lamb with a large spoon, until cooked or warmed through. Remove the skillet from the heat.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the bread from milk and gently squeeze out any excess milk. Add the bread, jam, salt, vinegar, egg, raisins, and almonds to the meat mixture and blend well. The consistency should be the same as for a meat loaf.
Oil a 3-quart baking dish or soufflé dish. Add the meat mixture and smooth the surface, gently pressing the mixture into place with your fingertips.
Make the custard: Beat the eggs, lemon zest, and ginger with the milk. Strain through a sieve onto the meat. Garnish with nutmeg. Bake until the custard is set, 30 to 45 minutes.
1992 Molly O'Neill