Ghillie Basan’s Bobotie

I have been lucky enough to eat this won­der­ful dish, cooked by Ghillie. The recipe is in her own words.

The Herald on Sunday - Sunday Herald Life - - FOOD & DRINK - (Serves 5-6)

So many dishes re­mind me of my child­hood, such as cur­ries made with pa­payas or with green ba­nanas. Al­though it orig­i­nates from South Africa, Bobotie is cooked in house­holds and sa­fari lodges through­out East Africa and I learned this ver­sion from our cook. Sweet and not too spicy, it was a family favourite when my kids were grow­ing up. 2 slices white bread, crusts re­moved and cubed

250ml milk

2 tbsp ghee

2 onions, chopped

2 tsp jag­gery, or sugar

1-2 tsp harissa paste, finely chopped dried chill­ies, or pa­prika

1 tbsp ground turmeric

2-3 tsp In­dian or South African curry pow­der

2 tsp ground gin­ger

2-3 tbsp raisins or sul­tanas

Around 900g lean minced beef, or veni­son

1 tbsp red or white wine vine­gar

1 tbsp Worces­ter­shire sauce

2 tbsp mango chut­ney

1 tbsp apri­cot jam

1-2 tbsp tomato paste

1 x 400g tins chopped toma­toes

Sea salt and freshly ground black pep­per

2 eggs, beaten

Hand­ful lemon or bay leaves Pre­heat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Place the bread cubes into a shal­low bowl and pour the milk over them. Put aside and leave to soak. Heat the ghee in heavy-based pot or pan and stir in the onions with the jag­gery, un­til they be­gin to colour. Stir in the harissa and spices then toss in the raisins and the minced beef and cook for 4-5 min­utes to brown the meat. Add the vine­gar, Worces­ter­shire sauce, chut­ney, jam, tomato paste, and tinned toma­toes. Bub­ble up the mix­ture, re­duce the heat, and cook gen­tly for 25-30 min­utes, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally to pre­vent the mix­ture from stick­ing to the bot­tom of the pot. Squeeze the bread dry, re­serve the milk, and beat the bread into the minced meat. Sea­son the meat mix­ture with salt and pep­per and trans­fer to an oven­proof dish. Beat the eggs with the re­served milk in a bowl and pour it over the meat mix­ture, dot the top with lemon or bay leaves and pop the dish into the oven for 15-20 min­utes, un­til the cus­tard has set. Serve straight from the oven.

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