Ground Beef Recipe – Bobotie!

A Ground Beef recipe that is authentically South African is Bobotie  and although I don’t make it that often, it goes down really well with my family. Bobotie  is made with ground meat, (in this case beef, but mutton and pork is also used) and is then baked with a egg custard on top.
Bobotie is  not a very spicy dish, but  spices such as turmeric, gara masala, cloves and cinnamon make the flavor really intense and complex. Dried fruit such as raisins and dried apricots are used so this dish has a sweet tendency, so if you are not one of the people who like the sweetness of the fruit, you can omit it.
Even the texture of Bobotie is complex, because you have the coarse ground beef and the silkiness of the egg custard, which makes  the Bobotie delicious and moist.

I have done a bit of research and it seems that the South Africans did not invent this recipes( Bobotie is derived from the Indonesian word Bobotok), but it has been served here in the Cape Colony Since the 17th century and that is why we gladly call it our own.The Bobotie recipe was transported by South African settlers to colonies all over Africa and today versions of this recipe can be found as far as Kenya, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
This is my tried and tested recipe, but it is slightly on the sweet side, so be warned beforehand….

Bobotie Recipe

2 tbsp vegetable oil 
2 onions – chopped 
1 kg ground beef 
2 slices of white bread 
1 cup milk 
1 tbsp curry powder – more if you need more heat 
1-2 tbsp sugar 
2 tsp salt 
3/4 tsp turmeric 
1/2 tsp gara masala 
1/2 tsp cloves 
1-2 tbsp vinegar 
1/2 cup seedless raisins 
2 tbsp fruity  chutney 
2 bay leaves 
2  eggs


    Preheat oven to 350°F.
    Heat oil in a pan. Stir in onions and all the dry spices and cook until transparent. Add  the beef and cook  until lightly browned and crumbly.
    Soak the bread in half the milk, squeeze out excess milk and mash with a fork. Keep the milk! Pour it straight back into remaining milk and set  aside. Add the mashed up bread to the meat mixture. Now add the sugar, salt, pepper, vinegar, raisins and chutney to the beef mixture. Spoon the mixture into a greased baking dish, and place bay leaves on top.
    Bake for about 40-50 minutes in preheated oven.
    Beat egg with all the remaining milk and pour over mixture approximately 25 – 30 minutes before end of baking time.
    Serve with yellow rice and sambals .

    Serves: 6
    To ring the changes, I made individual portions in rotis. Simply fold the roti in quarters and open like a cone in a large muffin pan. Spoon the minced beef into the roti cones and bake for a slightly shorter period of time. Be warned, the egg custard runs out at the bottom or spill over the top, so place the muffin pan in another baking tray!

    Other true South African Recipes