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  • Writer's pictureAngela, Digital Chef, Africa Analyst

Ground beef casserole - South African Bobotie

Bobotie (spiced minced meat baked with an egg-based coating) is a popular South African meal that seems to be a variation of Patinam ex lacte, a dish consisting of layers of cooked pork, pine nuts, and spices such as pepper, celery seeds, and asafoetida. It is simmered until the flavors melded, then topped with an egg and milk coating. The meal is ready to be serve once the latter had set.

The recipe was known in Europe since the seventeenth century, and was cooked using a blend of mutton and pork, the dish later became popular at the Cape of Good Hope and spread like wildfire through the rest of South Africa.

It's created with curry which gives it a kick and and is typically accompanied by rice or pasta.


  • 2 pounds of ground beef or meat of choice

  • 2 slices of white bread

  • 2 chopped onions

  • 2 crushed garlic cloves

  • 25g butter

  • 3 cloves

  • 5 allspice berries

  • 1 kg of lean minced mushrooms

  • 2 tablespoon of curry paste

  • 1 tablespoon of dried mixed herbs

  • 3 tablespoon of raisins

  • 2 tablespoon of mango or peach chutney

  • 2 bay leaves

  • Salt and Pepper to taste

For the topping:

  • 2 eggs, large

  • 300ml of full-cream milk


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Soak the bread in cold water for a few minutes.

2. In the meantime, fry the onions in the butter for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until soft and starting to color.

3. Stir in the garlic and mushroom until the mince is crushed into fine grains and the color changes.

4. Add salt and plenty of powdered black pepper, combine the curry paste, herbs, spices, chutney, raisins, and 2 bay leaves.

5. Add ground beef or meat of choice and stir until browned.

6. Simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on. Squeeze the water out of the bread and stir it into the skillet.

7. Place in an well greased casserole dish. Smooth the top of the mixture by pressing it down firmly.

8. To make the topping, whisk together the milk, eggs, then pour over the meat. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the topping, has set and is beginning to become brown.

Dish can be made with many different ingredients and mozzarella cheese or your favorite veggies can be used to top of the casserole, options are endless.

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