Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bobotie - South African Meat Pie

It’s like a celebration in your mouth.  So many levels of flavor.  Such complexity.  Bobotie, pronounced Ba-Booty, is one of the most beloved dishes of South Africa.  Every South African housewife will have at least two recipes for this beloved creation.

Bobotie is essentially a meat pie with an egg topping, almost like meat custard. Its how one incorporates all of the various choices of ingredients that make one Bobotie recipe so very different from another.  The basic recipe probably originated from the Dutch East India Company colonies in Batavia, now called Jakarta on the island of Java, with the name derived from the Indonesian Bobotok. Later, sometime in the 17th century, it was taken to South Africa and gained favor with the Cape Malay community.

Early recipes incorporated ginger, marjoram and lemon rind. Some recipes include curry and/or chopped onions.  Traditional Bobotie may include dried fruit, and the dish is garnished with walnuts, chutney and bananas.  It’s sweet and savory and has a complex texture that will make you want to come back for more.  That’s OK because the PointsPlus value is so low. We just can’t get enough.  Even the left-overs are wonderful, right out of the fridge.

When Judy told me what she was preparing she described it as a sort of meatloaf.  Bobotie is far more than that. You will really have to try it yourself in order to fully understand.  We hope you will.

From our kitchen to yours.  Enjoy the adventure.


1 spray Cooking Spray

1 pound lean Ground Beef

1 cup Onions, finely chopped

1 medium Apple, Granny Smith, peeled and finely chopped

½ cup Carrots, finely chopped

½ cup Raisins

2 leaves, Bay Leaf

3 cloves Garlic, minced

Spice Mix

1 ½ tsp Kosher Salt

1 tsp Chili Powder

½ tsp Cumin, ground

½ tsp Coriander

1 Tbsp Curry Powder

¼ tsp Cloves, ground

¼ tsp Black Pepper, freshly ground

Remaining Ingredients

¼ cup Red Wine, dry variety

3 Tbsp Mango Chutney

2 Eggs, large

½ cup Low Fat Milk


Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a 9 inch loaf pan with Cooking spray.

In a large non-stick skillet, over medium-high heat, cook the meat until no longer pink, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks, about 3 – 5 minutes.  Drain the meat and set it aside.

In the same skillet, over medium-low heat, combine Onion, Apple, Carrot, Raisins and Bay Leaves, cook stirring frequently until soft, about 10 minutes.  Stir in Garlic and spice mix, cook for 2 more minutes.

Stir the meat into the veggie mixture and pour in the Red Wine. Scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits.  Simmer on low for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Remove Bay Leaves; stir in Chutney.  Spoon entire mixture into prepared loaf pan.

In a small bowl, thoroughly whisk together Eggs and Milk; pour over the meat and veggie mixture, tilting the pan as needed to evenly cover the top.  Bake until the Egg layer is set, about 20 - 25 minutes.

Let it cool slightly before cutting into 8 portions.  Yields 1 piece per serving.  PointsPlus value per serving is 5.  Prep time is about 25 minutes.  Cooking time is about 45 – 50 minutes. Level of difficulty is Moderate.  We served it with ½ cup Brown Rice, adding 3 additional value points.

Weight Watchers and PointsPlus are registered trademarks of Weight Watchers Intl. Inc.

Recipes shown may not be exactly the same as those found on any website. Judy and I tend to "tweak" each recipe we feature, to some degree, incorporating our own unique tastes and ideas. PointsPlus values, however, are accurate. 

Photo by Barry Baruh

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