BOBOTIE (South African curry meat loaf, for six)
Considered a Cape Town or Western Cape dish, bobotie is so popular throughout South Africa that it is sometimes considered a signature national dish. It arrived in South Africa several hundred years ago from the East Indies.
1-1/4 pounds ground beef
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon curry powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon crushed coriander seeds
2 tomatoes, chopped, or 1 cup chopped canned tomatoes
¼ cup bread crumbs
¼ cup crushed peanuts or smooth peanut butter, preferably unsweetened
2 teaspoons salt, divided
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
2 egg yolks
a pinch of ground nutmeg
1.Heat a Dutch oven or other large, heavy pot over medium high heat. Add the beef and onion and cook, stirring to break up any lumps, until the beef is well browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, curry powder, cumin, coriander and tomatoes, reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
2. Stir in the bread crumbs, peanuts, 1-½ teaspoons of the salt and ½ cup water and cook for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the beef mixture from the pot with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Transfer to a plate and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 350*. Generously butter a 2 quart baking dish. Spread the beef mixture in the bottom of the pan and press down to pack well. Whisk together the milk, eggs, egg yolks, nutmeg and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and pour over the beef mixture.
4. Set the baking dish in a larger baking pan and add enough hot water to come 1 inch up the sides of the baking dish. Cover the baking dish (not the larger pan) with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 20 to 30 minutes, or until the custard topping is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
5. Cut into squares and serve with mango sambal and creamed Swiss chard.
from Marcus Samuelson, The Soul of a New Cuisine