Today we have started to talk about summer holidays. Portugal has always been a firm favourite with us. We love the unspoiled villages of the Western Algarve, we love roaming the streets of Lagos and we have our favourite beach in Burgau. Burgau is a beautiful little fishing village off the beaten track between Lagos and Cap St Vincent, where you will still see a tractor parked on the slipway at the beach for pulling the little fishing boats out of the water rather than row after row of hotels. It also has one beach bar which is tucked under the cliffs and we have sat and enjoyed the most gorgeous jugs of homemade sangria after a day of fun on the beach with the twins. We have our favourite restaurants and one of these is a South African restaurant serving amazing meats and seafood from Surf ‘n Turf, to Billtong which are South African cured meats and a dish that I fell in love with….Babotie! Even the name sounds good. Babotie is a traditional South African dish which comprises of minced meat with fruit and spices which is baked in the oven with an egg and milk topping.
It is so simple yet has that quintessential blend of mellow curry spice and fruit. It is warming in it’s flavour with a slight undertone of heat and as comforting a dish as you will ever get. It is I suppose not a million miles away from Cottage pie. I have found that kids generally love mince and that mild fruity, curry flavour, my gang lap this up and come back for more. I serve it with sweet roast potoato wedges which lend themselves really well to the sweetness and spice and a nice big leafy green salad. It is different yet so very simple.
This recipe came from a South African friend and it is his mothers traditional Babotie recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
BOBOTIE (6 servings)
500g Minced Beef
2 Chopped Onions
2 Cloves Crushed Garlic
250ml Grated Carrot or Apple (I prefer apple)
10ml Curry Powder
5ml Ground Coriander
2.5ml Mixed Herbs
2.5ml Cayenne Pepper or Dried Chili
1ml black Pepper
15ml White Wine Vinegar
2 slices of white bread, soaked in chicken stock, then stock squeezed out and break up
2 Bay leaves
250ml Buttermilk or Soured Cream or half/half Cream and Yogurt (I prefer Buttermilk)
Pinch of Black Pepper
2 Eggs beaten
Brown minced beef in oil and butter till loose and crumbled. Add chopped onion and fry till translucent. Add garlic, carrot and spices. Cook for a short while to develop the flavours. Add salt, pepper and vinegar. Add fine bread to the mix.
Turn into a flat oven dish. Push Bay leaves into mixture. Don’t smooth too much to allow topping to soak into mince mixture.
Mix topping ingredients and pour over bobotie.
Bake without a lid at 190 Celsius (375 F) for about 35 minutes till topping is set and golden brown.
Serve with yellow rice and chutney.