South African Bobotie

I cooked for four days last week for Thanksgiving.  I love my Thanksgiving week cooking, but really wanted something completely unrelated to the holidays for dinner one night that week.  Ground beef seemed like the perfect ingredient so I bought a few pounds along with the turkey and fixings so I would have it ready if an idea struck me.

A couple of days before Turkey Day I remembered seeing a recipe for Bobotie and posting the link to my ET FB page.  I couldn’t find it among all the other posts on my wall so began researching Bobotie.  Apparently it is a popular South African dish and every housewife has her own version.  I found that I needed chutney, ground beef, lots of fabulous spices, bay leaves, and an eggy topping.

This recipe grew from a mish-mash of all the recipes I read while researching it, with my own additions and changes.  Here are a few other recipes and some information on this dish.   Bobotie- South Africa’s Indigenous Cuisine, Bobotie,  Cape Malay Bobotie Recipe

I threw together some quick chutney with the spices I had in the pantry and some very chunky apple puree that was in the freezer left over from pressing apples for cider.  It did the trick and really made a difference eaten alongside the finished casserole.  Also, I pretty much substitute dried cranberries for raisins when a recipe calls for them.  I only keep cranberries on hand.  They were really pretty amazing in this dish.


2 T butter

1 T extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/4 chutney

2 large yellow onions, small dice

1 1/2 to 2 lbs. ground beef

1/2 tsp. slat

1/2 tsp. pepper

1/4 c. dried cranberries, raisins, or currants

1 T red curry powder

7 bay leaves

1 tsp. orange zest

2 slices of bread

1/4 c. milk


2 large eggs

1/2 c. milk

1/4 tsp. salt


Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium stock pot, heat the oil and melt butter into it.  Saute garlic until translucent.  Add onions and continue cooking until tender.

Crumble in ground beef.  Add salt and pepper and cook meat thoroughly.  Drain off excess fat.

Add chutney, cranberries, curry powder, orange zest and 3 bay leaves.

Simmer 10 minutes.  Soak bread in 1/4 c. milk.

Squeeze excess milk from bread slices and stir them into the simmered meat, vegetables, and spices.

Spoon into a casserole dish.

Mix together topping ingredients and pour over the meat mixture.

Lay the remaining bay leaves on top.

Bake 30 to 40 minutes.

Serve with chutney on the side.


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