Bobotie pies

Bobotie pies

Bobotie Pies recipe food styling

Trust me to take a traditional recipe and turn it on its head. Apologies, South Africa, for what I’ve done with one of your national dishes. I tried the real thing when I travelled through your country, relishing its complex flavours and soft, warm texture; vowing to make it at home when I had the chance.

And then I decided to do this.

Bobotie Pies recipe

For those that don’t know what bobotie is, think shepherds pie sans the potato topping. Replace the potato with a savoury egg custard and throw a heap of spices and fruits into the meat. It’s a bit of an adaptation of an Indonesian dish called bobotok, I believe,  brought to Africa via the Dutch and finally adopted by the Cape-Malays. It’s a mish-mash of flavours with a very noticeable sweetness.

Traditionally the meat that’s used is ground, cooked with curry spices and fruits like raisins and apple. This is what makes it sweet. Unless, of course, you lump in some sugar as many recipes seem to do.

Bobotie Pies recipe food styling

I’ve done away with the minced meat and slow cooked a hunk of lamb shoulder instead; lovingly marinated overnight, then steam-roasted with the spices and fruits. The torn lamb on its own is perfect as a meaty dish with vegetables, rice or salad – but I’m making pies, remember.

The custard layer has still been incorporated, sitting neatly between the pastry top and meaty filling; and I couldn’t forget the obligatory bay leaf standing erect on the pie.

Looking at the ingredients list and individual methods is somewhat daunting, but remember, the meat can be done ahead of time; as can the pastry.

Alternatively, if pies don’t float your boat, whack the meat filling into a greased baking dish, top it with the custard and bay leaves and have it closer to the traditional versions.

Served with a good mango chutney, it’s one tasty and portable way to eat bobotie!

Recipe adapted from here

Bobotie Pies recipe

 

Print Recipe
Bobotie pies
Classic South African bobotie served up in pie form.
Bobotie pies recipe
Course Main Dish
Cuisine South African
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Marinade
Extra ingredients
Pastry
Course Main Dish
Cuisine South African
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Marinade
Extra ingredients
Pastry
Bobotie pies recipe
Instructions
Marinade & cooking
  1. Combine all marinade ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Rub the lamb with the marinade, covering it generously. Roll the lamb fairly tightly, if it's one piece, place into a plastic bag with any excess marinade. Squeeze out all the air, twist the top and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  3. Lay the lamb shoulder and marinade ingredients in a roasting dish or deep skillet to fit it fairly snugly, pour over ½ cup water, cover tightly with foil and cook for 1½ hours. Turn the lamb over then cook for a further 1½ hours.
  4. When the lamb is done, skim off as much of the fat as you can and discard it. Make sure you keep the marinade ingredients. When the meat is cool enough to handle, tear it into chunks and mix it through the marinade ingredients.
  5. Put the torn bread into a small bowl, pour over the milk and set aside for 10 minutes until absorbed and soft. Squish the bead with your hand until it's pasty. Beat one of the eggs into the bread paste and mix it through the torn lamb, along with the 50 grams of flaked almonds. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
Pastry
  1. Place the flour and salt into a large bowl. Pour in the oil and mix well. Using either a peeler or coarse grater, peel or grate the frozen butter into the flour mixture. Try to be quick with this step as you don't want the butter to get warm.
  2. Mix the butter through the flour with your hands, but don't rub it in. Gradually add the iced water, a little at a time, mixing with your hand until it just comes together. Bring the dough together with your hands and shape it into a rough log. Cut the dough into 6, wrap each piece with plastic and refrigerate for at least half an hour.
  3. Note - You can actually freeze the dough at this point if you want to make it ahead of time. Defrost it in the fridge for a day before using.
  4. Grease and line 6 pie tins. Set aside.
  5. Take one piece of the dough and cut ¼ off it. Get the small pieces back in the fridge to keep cool. Lightly dust your work surface with flour and roll the ¾ piece of dough until about 4mm thick. Line the pie tin base and sides with the rolled dough, with enough overhang on the top so you can seal the top.
  6. Repeat this process with the remaining dough.
  7. Fill the lined pie tins with the cold lamb mixture, leaving about 1½ cm space at the top for the custard mixture. Simply whisk together the remaining 3 eggs, cream and seasoning. Pour some of this custard over the lamb until it almost gets to the top. Set aside.
  8. Roll the remaining quarters of pastry to make the tops for your pies. Lightly moisten the top of the pastry on the pie bases, gently lay each disc of pastry on top and seal with your fingers, pressing down with a fork to seal even more. Cut any excess pastry from the sides.
  9. Brush the tops of the pies with egg yolk. Cut a slit into the top of each pie and gently insert a bay leaf into it vertically. Refrigerate the pies for 20 minutes.
  10. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  11. Take the filled pies from the fridge, brush the tops with egg yolk again, place them onto a baking tray, scatter over a few flaked almonds and bake for 40 minutes until golden.
  12. Allow to cool slightly before removing from the tins. Serve with mango chutney.
Share this Recipe
  • Ok I confess I giggled when I first saw the name of this pie but oh, seeing the pics filled me with nothing but envy. They sound like just the ticket for winter. And I love their little bay leaf flags too.

  • Intriguing flavour combination! Very curious on this one. It looks so hearty and winter warming for a night like this…

  • Barry Ozmo

    awesome .the perfect winter indulgence.

  • Sara (Belly Rumbles)

    Hopefully South Africa is happy with your creation, looks divine!

  • I made my first Bobotie more than 20 years ago and it was a very traditional sort… and a great success for my pan-African-themed dinner party. Your pies look absolutely gorgeous, and make for the best presentation. Nice job; I am sure Suth Africa will approve!

  • AmandaChewTown

    After talking about these the other day, it is so wonderful to see them. They look amazing standing tall like sentinels with bay leafs poking out. I can only imagine the incredible flavour that would be in these.

  • Thanks Jean, I’ll take a look

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