Last year, I had the great pleasure and honor to visit (Mother) Africa – Cape Town, South Africa to be exact. It was a L-O-N-G Flight (18hrs) but the beautiful South African wines on the flight only made me want to get there sooner. The people, the food, the sights, smells, history surrounds you – fills you – comforts you. As someone who has lived in other countries and traveled around the world (a few times) I can say…Africa felt like home.
With (Pappa) Nelson Mandela – Madeba -with one of my favorite recipes. The fusion of cultures has produced some of the countries most compelling dishes, and a prime example is the South African bobotie. Originally brought there by Malaysians, bobotie melds ingredients–ground meat, spices, fruit and nuts–as successfully as it has that nation’s ethnicities. And now we can join them. This particular version comes from my dear friends at a local restaurant in Brooklyn NY called….Madeba. This Bobotie with Steamed Broccoli by Chef Mark Henegan, is sure to be a hit!!
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 1 hour
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
oil (for frying)
2 slices white bread,
1/2 cup milk
1 large onion
4 teaspoons mild curry powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 tomato, ripe, peeled and chopped
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 apple, peeled and coarsely grated
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
1/4-1/2 cup seedless raisin (this is for you to decide)
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons apricot jam
3/4 cup milk
12 -16 almonds, whole, blanched (or use split almonds)
1/2 cup milk
1/3 teaspoon turmeric
1. Set oven at 350 deg F. In a small bowl, tear up the slices of bread roughly, and pour over the 1⁄2 cup milk. Set aside.
2. Peel and chop the onion. Heat about 3 tablespoons oil in a large pot. Fry the onion over medium heat until translucent.
3. Add the curry powder, coarsely crushed breyani spices and turmeric. Stir, and let the spices fry for a few minutes.
4. Add more oil if they stick: usually quite a bit of oil is needed.
5. Add the chopped, peeled tomato, sugar, grated apple, lemon rind and raisins and stir through. Fry for a minute, then add the meat.
6. Break up the meat so that the ground meat is loose. Add the salt. Stir often, and mix through with the spice mixture.
7. Add the apricot jam, and stir so it melts into the meat mixture. When the meat is sort of medium done, remove the pot from the heat. Stir through and let cool a little.
8. Take the bread which has been soaking in the milk, and break it up into wet crumbs. The bread will have absorbed all the milk. Add the milky crumbs to the meat mixture, and mix through.
9. Break the egg in a bowl, whisk, and add the milk. Add this milk-egg mixture to the meat as well.Turn into a greased oven dish (9×13 pyrex pan is an example), and stud with almonds on top. Bake for 40 minutes in the preheated oven.
10. Whisk the last egg with the milk and enough turmeric to turn the mixture a nice yellow colour. Take the meat out of the oven, pour over the custard, and bake about 15 minutes longer, or until the egg custard has set. After tasting the bobotie, feel free to play around with the spices next time!
1 head broccoli
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Cut a head of broccoli into florets. Peel the stalk and cut into 1/2” slices.
2. Heat a medium or large pot with 1” of water in it. When the water comes to a boil, put broccoli in the pot with salt and cover. Steam for 3-5 minutes, depending on how tender you like your broccoli.