The first time I had bobotie was at a Food & Wine Festival in Epcot, Walt Disney World. We thought it was great but had never heard of it before. At that time trying to find a recipe for a dish from South Africa, before Google, was pretty near impossible. No one knew what I was trying to describe to them.
Then we had bobotie on two more trips in 2009 and 2010 to WDW. Once at Tusker House, a buffet restaurant in Animal Kingdom, and Boma, a buffet restaurant in Animal Kingdom Lodge. I loved it even more than I remembered and had to hunt down a recipe.
Then I found one. Raisins? Cinnamon? In meat? That couldn’t have been what I was eating. I thought my children will never eat this. So the recipe has sat unused until now.
We have not been to Walt Disney World for 18 months. For us, that is forever. We are starting to plan a trip now but it is still quite a ways away. So, I decided to bring a bit of Walt Disney World to us by making the bobotie.
I started with the recipe for Best Bobotie at Allrecipes.com. I altered it just a tiny bit for my family. It was amazing. The picture above does not do the dish justice. My entire house smelled like fall for hours. Cinnamon and curry filled the air.
It was delicious. Both children had seconds and there were no leftovers this night. I love that both of my children want to explore more ethnic foods and that they are fearless tasters. They may not like everything or want to put ketchup on it but they eat it and enjoy it.
- 1 TBSP canola oil
- 1 large onion, minced
- 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
- 1 cup fat-free half and half
- 2 slices of thick, good bread
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 TBSP apricot jam
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 large eggs
- pinch of salt
- 2 bay leaves
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with non-stick spray.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the onion in the hot oil until soft.
- Break the ground beef into the skillet and cook until brown.
- Place the milk in a shallow dish. Soak the bread in the milk. Gently squeeze the excess milk from the bread. Set the milk aside. Add the bread to the beef mixture and stir to well broken up and incorporated into the beef and onion mix.
- Stir in the raisins, apricot jam, curry powder, cinnamon, salt, and black pepper. Taste and adjust your spices as needed.
- Bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes.
- While the bobotie bakes, whisk together the reserved milk, eggs, and a pinch of salt.
- After the dish has baked for 30 minutes pour the egg mixture over the top of the meat. Lay the bay leaves on top of the milk mixture.
- Return the bobotie to the oven until the top is golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes. All to rest for 5 minutes before serving and remove bay leaves prior to serving.