Lekkerbek Bobotie – Ilse van der Merwe

Lekkerbek Bobotie

Lekkerbek Bobotie

Ilse van der Merwe turns to Huisgenoot Top 500 Wenresepte, published in 2006. This book is the work of Carmen Niehaus, who must be one of the most read food editors in the country as Huisgenoot has a huge readership. Though many Bobotie dishes, mine included, claim to be the best, this one is very special.  This one was first published in The Pretty Blog.

Lekkerbek Bobotie


Serves 8

1 kg beef mince (lean)
2 slices white bread, soaked in water, pressed to a pulp
250 ml pitless raisins
3 onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
15 ml fresh ginger, finely grated
30 ml soft brown sugar
Salt & pepper

Dry spices
15 ml mild curry powder
5 ml ground turmeric
5 ml ground coriander
5 ml ground ginger
2,5 ml ground cumin

Wet ingredients
30 ml vegetable oil
30 ml Worcestershire sauce
30 ml lemon juice
30 ml apricot jam
60 ml fruit chutney
30 ml tomato paste

For the custard
500 ml milk
4 eggs
4 bay leaves
Salt & pepper

In a large pot, heat the oil and fry the onions until soft and starting to brown lightly.

Add the garlic, ginger and dry spices and fry for another minute until the bottom of the pot goes dry and sticky.

Add the beef bit by bit, breaking up any lumpy pieces. Fry, stirring, until it just starts to change colour from pink to light brown – before adding more meat. The meat shouldn’t brown too much. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Add the wet ingredients and raisins and give it a good stir.

Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring often and taking care not to burn the bottom of the pot. Add a touch of water if the mixture is too dry. In the meantime, pre-heat oven to 180 C.

Prepare the custard topping: mix the milk and eggs and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

When the bobotie is ready, transfer it to a large oven-proof baking dish and flatten the surface with a spatula.

Press the bay leaves into the bobotie, then pour the custard mixture over the top.

Carefully place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes until the custard is set.

Remove from oven and let it stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Photography & Styling: Tasha Seccombe
Recipe Test & Prep: Ilse van der Merwe

Michael’s wine recommendation – CLICK HERE

Zonnebloem Pinotage 2013

Zonnebloem Pinotage 2013

Ilse van der Merwe, also known as The Food Fox, in her demo KITCHEN

Ilse van der Merwe, also known as The Food Fox, in her demo KITCHEN

Ilse van der Merwe is one of my favourite food writers. Enthusiastic, innovative and her website www.thefoodfox.com is full of exciting food ideas. Ilse appears regularly on television and does regular pieces for The Pretty Blog. Last year she opened the demoKITCHEN in the heart of Stellenbosch which is a venue for her regular cookery classes. Ilse offers you some delightful nibbles that you can now order from her kitchen. Walk-ins welcome, open from 10am. Well worth the visit.
Call first to be sure 021 882 9895.


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