Bobotie(adapted from Time-Life Foods of the World, African Cooking)


 — really a kind of glorified meatloaf, but if youlike ground beef and curry, you may like this combo

1 slice homemade-type white bread, 1-inch thick, brokeninto 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 teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper
¼ cup strainedfresh lemon juice
3 eggs
1 medium-sized tart cooking apple, peeled, cored and finely grated
¼ cup blanchedalmonds, coarsely chopped
½ cup seedlessraisins
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 moderateheat. When the foam begins to subside, add the lamb and cook it, stirringconstantly and mashing any lumps with the back of a spoon, until the meatseparates into granules and no traces of pink remain. With a slotted spoontransfer the lamb to a deep bowl.
Pour off and discard all but about 2 tablespoons of fat from the skillet anddrop in the onions. Stirring frequently, cook for about 5 minutes, until theonions are soft and translucent but not brown. Watch carefully for any sign ofburning and regulate the heat accordingly. Add the curry powder, sugar, salt andpepper, and stir for I or 2 minutes. Then stir in the lemon juice and bring to aboil 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 andalmonds to the lamb. Knead vigorously with both hands or beat with a woodenspoon until the ingredients are well combined. Taste for seasoning and add moresalt if desired. Pack the lamb mixture loosely into a 3-quart soufflé dish orother deep 3-quart baking dish, smoothing the top with a spatula. Tuck thelemon, orange or bay leaves beneath the surface of the meat.
With a wire whisk or rotary beater, beat the remaining 2 eggs with the reservedmilk for about 1 minute, or until they froth. Slowly pour the mixture evenlyover the meat and bake in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes, or until thesurface becomes brown and firm to the touch.
Serve at once, directly from the baking dish.
Bobotie is traditionally accompanied by hot boiled rice.

Yield:Serves 6

This recipe has been kitchen tested.

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