Bobotie (pronounced ba-boor-tea) is a curried meatloaf and was declared the national dish of South Africa by the United Nations Women’s Organisation in 1954. It has a varied heritage: the Dutch brought ground meat to the local cuisine, the spices were introduced by the slaves from Indonesia and the presentation is reminiscent of English shepherd’s pie. Bobotie used to be made with leftovers from the Sunday roast.
Traditionally, bobotie incorporates dried fruit like raisins or sultanas, but the sweetness that they lend is not to everybody’s taste so I have left them out of this recipe. If however you think that you would like to add them please do. I have used oats instead of white breadcrumbs but feel free to use breadcrumbs if you prefer.
Once cooked you will find the egg has risen and formed a topping to the meatloaf.
- ¾ cup of cooking oatmeal (not instant)
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2cm fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp fennel seeds
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1½ tsp crushed garlic
- 1 tsp salt
- 500g steak mince
- 2 eggs
- 1½ tbsp lemon juice
- 30g sugar
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.
- Line the bottom (with parchment paper) and grease the sides of a tin that will fit into the inner pot. I used a loaf tin with a lid.
- Put the mixture in the tin and smooth the surface with a fork.
- Place the bay leaves on top of the mixture and put on the lid. If your tin does not have a lid make one from eco-friendly aluminium foil. Remember to make a handle to remove the tin when the meatloaf is cooked.
- Place the tin on a trivet in the inner pot and fill with water until it comes ¾ way up the side of the tin.
- Bring to the boil and then turn down the heat to a simmer.
- Put on the lid and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and place the inner pot into the insulated outer container.
- Shut the lid and leave to thermal cook without power for a minimum of 4 hours.
- Once cooked remove the tin from the inner pot and leave a short while before removing the meatloaf from the tin.
- Serve with saffron rice or boiled vegetables.