Bobotie with summer salsa

A South African dish of spiced meat baked with a savoury custard topping that I serve with a fresh and spicy relish.


Serves: 4

Prep: 20 min
Cook: 1 hr 10 min


For the filling

25ml Olive oil
3 medium Onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2kg lamb shoulder Mince
6 tbsp tomato purée
2 tbsp mild curry powder
3 tbsp Membrillo (quince cheese)
3 tbsp sultanas, soaked over night in 2 tbsp brandy
3 tbsp knibbled toasted almonds

For the custard topping

4 Eggs
2 egg yolks
pinch grated nutmeg
pinch Sugar
570ml whipping cream
splash Brandy

For the summer salsa

2 avocados, peeled and finely chopped
6 tbsp Olive oil
2 limes, juice only
1 large red chilli, finely chopped
2 roasted red peppers, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, grated
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
3 vine tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and finely chopped
3 tbsp fresh Coriander, finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
splash nam pla (Thai fish sauce)


1. For the filling: heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a high heat, add the onions and garlic and fry until soft and just coloured.

2. Add the lamb and fry, stirring continuously, until coloured. Turn down the heat. Stir in the tomato puree, curry powder and quince cheese, and simmer for about 20 minutes.

3. Taste and season with salt and pepper and a little more curry powder if you like. Stir in the soaked sultanas and almonds and transfer to an ovenproof dish.

4. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.

5. For the custard topping : lightly whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, nutmeg and sugar. Stir in the whipping cream and brandy and season with salt and pepper.

6. Pass the mixture through a sieve into a jug and carefully pour over the lamb. Put the dish in a roasting tin and pour in enough hot water to come half way up the side.

7. Cook in the pre-heated oven for about 40 minutes until the custard is set and lightly coloured.

8. For the summer salsa: in a large bowl, combine the avocados with the olive oil, limejuice and chilli. Season, mix well, and then add all the other ingredients. Check the seasoning, adding a little more lime juice if needed.

9. Serve the bobotie with the summer salsa.

Cook’s note: if you are not using the salsa straight away, cover the surface with clingfilm, then cover the top of the bowl again tightly to keep the air out and prevent any discolouring.

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