BAKED GROUND LAMB CURRY CASSEROLE
- 1 slice homemade-type white bread 1-inch thick, broken into small bits
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 pounds coarsely ground lean lamb
- 1½ cups finely chopped onions
- 2 tablespoons curry powder preferably Madras type
- 1 tablespoon light-brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup strained fresh lemon juice
- 3 eggs
- 1 medium-sized tart cooking apple peeled, cored and finely grated
- ¼ cup blanched almonds coarsely chopped
- ½ cup seedless raisins
- 4 small fresh lemon or orange leaves or substitute 4 small bay leaves
- Preheat the oven to 300°F. (150°C.) Combine the bread and milk in a small bowl and let the bread soak for atleast Io minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a heavy 10- to 12-inch skillet, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam begins to subside, add the lamb and cook it, stirring constantly and mashing any lumps with the back of a spoon, until the meat separates into granules and no traces of pink remain. With a slotted spoon transfer the lamb to a deep bowl.
- Pour off and discard all but about 2 tablespoons of fat from the skillet and drop in the onions. Stirring frequently, cook for about 5 minutes, until the onions are soft and translucent but not brown. Watch carefully for any sign of burning and regulate the heat accordingly. Add the curry powder, sugar, salt and pepper, and stir for I or 2 minutes. Then stir in the lemon juice and bring to a boil over high heat. Pour the entire mixture into the bowl of lamb.
- Drain the bread in a sieve set over a bowl and squeeze the bread completely dry.Reserve the drained milk. Add the bread, 1 of the eggs, the apple, raisins and almonds to the lamb. Knead vigorously with both hands or beat with a wooden spoon until the ingredients are well combined. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if desired. Pack the lamb mixture loosely into a 3-quart soufflé dish or other deep 3-quart baking dish, smoothing the top with a spatula. Tuck the lemon, orange or bay leaves beneath the surface of the meat.
- With a wire whisk or rotary beater, beat the remaining 2 eggs with the reserved milk for about 1 minute, or until they froth. Slowly pour the mixture evenly over the meat and bake in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes, or until the surface becomes brown and firm to the touch.
- Serve at once, directly from the baking dish.
Bobotie is traditionally accompanied by hot boiled rice. (adapted from Time-Life Foods of the World, African Cooking) Yield:Serves 6 This recipe has been kitchen tested.