Bobotie cooked on the Big Green Egg in storm force winds!
I think I must be nearly more English now than South African because all I do is go on about the weather it seems! It's been one of those weeks again, if you live or lived in Cape Town during the winter on a really bad day you might have experienced this. But it nearly 5 weeks now and I think we might have seen the sun only a handful of time and I have to braai again. So its more of that home comfort food this week “Bobotie” and I've never made this either. It's been a great learning curve so far this mad thing I decided to do after a few dop's and Jan is loving every bit of it.
We are going to be using one of Weners's Original spice packs again and we will have 5 free packs to give away again this week, to 5 lucky people who leave a comment at the end of this weeks blog.
This dish is a very traditional one and contrary to what is widely believed, bobotie did not come with the slaves from Indonesia. It was actually brought from Holland by founding father Jan van Riebeeck in 1652. Why then are the spices, so typical of Indonesian and Sri Lankan cooking? Because through the Dutch East India Company who sailed round the Cape of Good Hope, the Netherlands had a lively spice trade with the East in those days. However we can assume that the original dish was probably much simpler and that the slaves who brought with them their distinctive and popular way of cooking must have improved on the Dutch recipe … The final result should be soft but firm, spicy and with just a hint of curry but this is not a curry dish.
I am going to make this with a beef mince, mainly because I haven’t got any lamb in lol. This dish is quite quick to prepare and cook and the end result is fantastic, it just reminds me so much of times back home in SA. Ok lets crack on....
SERVES 4-6 - PREP: 10 MINS - COOK TIME: 30-40 minutes
Ingredients for the Bobotie and topping
500g / 1lbs beef or lamb mince
1 x medium onion chopped
1 x large slice of stale bread
25g / ¼ cup seedless raisins
1 tbsp apricot jam / chutney
1-2 cloves of garlic chopped
25g ¼ cup flaked or chopped almond (optional)
½ tsp grated fresh ginger (optional)
250ml / 1 cup milk
2 x eggs (3 would be better I think)
juice ¼ lemon
Method for cooking Bobotie
- Preheat the Braai to 180°C (360°F).
- Soak the bread in the half the milk.
- Butter a 25cm / 10” casserole dish.
- Gently squeeze the milk out of the bread but don't throw it away keep and add back with the rest of the milk.
- Crumble the bread with your hand or a fork and mix into the mince.
- Lightly fry of the onions, garlic and ginger in some olive oil stirring continually.
- Add the mince and brown off.
- Add the main pack of spices from the Werner's kit and mix in well, cook for another couple of minutes and remove from the heat.
- Beat up one of the eggs and mix into the meat mixture along with the raisins, lemon juice apricot jam / chutney and almonds.
- Add ½ the milk and add pepper to taste.
- Mix thoroughly and then spoon into the casserole dish.
- Finally smooth off the top of the mince so that it really flat.
Method for cooking topping
Beat the two remaining eggs (I only used one but I think two would be better) and add the balance of the milk. Don't be tempted to add more milk otherwise it will not set properly.
Gently pour onto the top of the meat mixture.
Lay the cinnamon bark in the middle and push it just below the mixture.
Float the bay leaves on the top
Bake in the braai / oven for 30-40 minutes or until it golden and brown.
Unfortunately I'm afraid that we had to carry out the first part of this recipe inside on the stove as the wind was blowing so hard the fire just could not be controlled with the lid open. However I did put it in the braai to cook as you can see and it was just magical. To be honest as a laaitie I never really liked the look of this dish but I remember that aroma and it was exactly as I remembered. But as I'm now grown up now (Jan doesn’t think so) so I thought I better try it tonight, especially as if I did not eat it there was “niks anders om te eet” nothing else to eat. Serve this with some yellow (saffron) rice and a fresh salad and man that's great, just add a dollop of Mrs Balls Chutney and your set to go.
Amazing “Ongelooflike” it's was truly great, I had been missing out on this fantastic dish for the last 50 years what a doos! If you have never tried to cook this don’t be scared, if I can do it then I promise you will be able too, give it a go.
5 Free Packs of Bobotie Spice to be won
If you would like to win one of the Werner's Bobotie spice packs then please leave some feed back and you could be 1 of 5 lucky people that get a chance to make this really traditional South African recipe (entry closes 7th December 2012). Also I love to hear what you think about what i'm cooking, feel free to leave suggestions what you would like to see me cook.
All the best until next week “Alles van die beste tot volgende week” Larry