This might be my last African post for a while, as my husband is getting tired of being a guinea pig. I on the other hand feel I have only begun to scratch the surface on this culturally rich and diverse continent. My latest dish, South African Bobotie was inspired by two individuals, my friend Klaudia, who is South African and Alan Coxon, chef and “The Food Archeologist” who I’ve communicated with via LinkedIn. He attributes the diversity of South African cuisine to the various cultural influences, for example Cape Town is influenced by the Cape Malays and the Dutch, who arrived in South Africa from the shipping and slave roots. Alan categorized Bobotie as a Cape Malays creation.
So, because of both Alan and Klaudia, my next meal was going to be South African Lamb Bobotie and I used Alan’s recipe. This was not the first time that I had prepared Bobotie. Back in January 2009, Martha Stewart had featured a special section on casseroles, which seemed like the perfect winter food. I had made all the casserole recipes, but this one I particularly remember because it was one of the last times Ness and Grant visited Kyustendil before returning to Perth. All I remember about Bobotie, was the unique use of dried apricots and apples with lamb and a custard-y topping. The flavors were quite distinct, but Martha Stewart is in no way an authority on South African cuisine, but I appreciate the fact that she was the first to introduce me to this dish.
Ingredients for the Topping
- Pre-heat the oven to 160C/325F/gas mark 3
- Butter a large casserole
- Heat a little butter in a pan and sweat off the onion for 4-5 minutes until translucent.
- Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Add the curry powder and turmeric and stir, cook out for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from heat.
- Add the meat, followed by all the remaining ingredients, and stir well until well amalgamated.
- Place into the buttered casserole and press gently. Pile into the casserole and level the top
- Cover with a tight fitting lid or with foil and bake for 1 and quarter hours.
Method for the Topping
- Mix together the milk, eggs and salt.
- Pour over the meat and bake for a further 20 minutes or until cooked and lightly browned
- Alternatively, after the egg custard has set, place under a grill for 2-3 minutes to brown.