Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Bobotie Adaptation

 One of the many reasons I am grateful for having lived outside the US is how much that has helped to broaden my horizons when it comes to food. I am particularly grateful for the time my family and I spent in Dubai, because were it not for it I would have missed out on a lot of cuisine from Africa that I might not have otherwise experienced. One of my favorite food finds during that time was Bobotie. For my US peeps Bobotie is a dish typical of South Africa, and the best way I can describe it is to say that it is like meatloaf but sooooo much better because of all the great flavors that go into it. I have made my version of it adapted from three different recipes, one which I saw in Spinney's Magazine while I was living in Dubai and the other two I found on the internet recently. I took ingredients that the recipes had in common and kept those while omitting stuff like raisins that my husband is not very keen on. Anyway here is my recipe:

Bobotie - An Adapted Version

1 Lb Ground/Minced Beef
1 Lb Ground/Minced Lamb
1 Large Carrot (Grated)
2-3 TBSP Olive Oil
3-4 Shallots (thinly sliced)
4 Garlic cloves (minced)
2 TBSP Curry Powder
2 tsp Tumeric Powder
3 tsp All Spice
2 tsp Ginger Powder
1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
1/4 Cup Water
2 Slices of Bread (Crumbled - I used Arnold's Whole Grains Oatnut Bread)
1/4 Cup Milk
Salt and Pepper to taste
4-5 Bay leaves

Preheat oven to 365 degrees Fahrenheit.

Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a dutch oven adding the shallots and garlic. Saute until the shallots have become translucent.

Add in the spices adding water if necessary in order to prevent the mixture from becoming dry and clumpy.

Take the pot off the stove and add in your ground beef and lamb making sure to incorporate the shallot, garlic and spice mixture evenly throughout the meat.

Add in the grated carrot and incorporate evenly into the mixture.

In a separate bowl mix the bread with the milk allowing the bread to absorb the milk. Add this to the meat mixture making sure to incorporate it as evenly as possible.

Insert the bay leaves at even intervals, and now you are ready to place your pot in the oven. Make sure to cover and bake for about 1 hour.

** I want to note that you do not need to have a dutch oven to make this. You can just as easily prepare everything in a large pan and then transfer everything into a baking dish. Just make sure that the baking dish is deep enough to fit the meat mixture as well as the topping that is added onto it.

As you get close to the end of the baking time (5 minutes or so) you can start making the topping. Here is what you need to make it:

Bobotie Topping

1 Cup of milk
2 Large Eggs
1 tsp Tumeric
1/2 tsp Salt

Mix all the ingredients together until well incorporated and set aside briefly.

Once your baking time is done remove the baking dish/dutch oven from the oven and remove the foil/lid.

Raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit

Pour the topping over the meat and place your dutch oven/baking dish back in the oven (uncovered) and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until the topping starts to turn a golden brown.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. It is recommended that this dish be served over yellow rice, but Jasmine rice works well too.


Here are the links to some of the recipes I drew inspiration from
Bobotie Recipe at Epicurious
Cleopatras' Bobotie - with secret sauce

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