Made By Mesh Bobotie

Article by Oomesh Nana

· 1 kg lean beef mince or 700g lean beef mince mixed with 300g pork mince
· 1 thick slice white bread
· 1 ½ cups (375ml) milk
· 25ml oil
· 2 tablespoons butter
· 2 medium onions, peeled and sliced
· 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
· 5 level teaspoons mild curry powder
· 2 teaspoons salt
· 25ml fruit chutney
· 1 tablespoon smooth apricot jam
· 1 teaspoon turmeric
· 2 tablespoons lemon juice
· ¼ cup (60ml) slivered almonds
· ½ cup (125ml) raisins
· 4 large eggs
· 5 lemon leaves or 2 bay leaves

A traditional Cape Malay bake of mince set with an eggy custard, spiced and studded with nuts and sultanas. This originated from the Muslim slaves brought to South Africa in the 17th century. Traditionally it was made from leftover meat, minced up.
For a richer taste, use half lamb mince and half beef mince.
I enjoy this with mash instead of rice, unless it’s fragrant basmati rice or any long-grained rice.

1. Soak the bread and milk in a small bowl.
2. In a large pan, heat oil and butter and sauté the onions for 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a minute further.
3. Add the curry powder, salt, chutney, jam, turmeric and lemon juice. Mix well.
4. Squeeze out the milk from the bread (reserving the milk for later) and crumble it into the pan together with the raisins and mince. Stir well and cook over medium heat. When meat is brown and not pinkish, remove from stove and add in one egg (beaten), stirring quickly. Tip the mince mixture into a greased Pyrex/ovenproof dish about 26x16cm in size.
5. Stud the mince with the slivered almonds and roll up each lemon leaf tightly (from the shorter side) and pierce it into the mince, burying it slightly.
6. Beat the remaining eggs with the reserved milk, with a pinch of turmeric and a pinch of salt (this is extra). Pour over the mince mixture. Place the bay leaves on top, if using.
7. Stand the dish in a larger oven tray of hot water (this is known as a bain-marie which will allow for even baking and will prevent the mince from drying out).
8. Bake uncovered at 180ºC for an hour or until firmly set.
9. Remove the bake from the bath of water and allow to cool slightly.
10. Serve cut into large squares with a side of desiccated coconut, fruit chutney and parboiled savoury yellow rice.

About Mesh:
“My hands interpret my soul’s craving.” ~ Oomesh Nana
Born with a passion for food, Oomesh, also known as Mesh, is a natural cook, teacher, inspirer and Chef. Mesh was inspired into the world of culinary by family and close friends, and has been playing, cooking, experimenting and creating from the age of 12.
His passion for teaching, sharing and inspiring have led him to become a world-class instructor in the culinary field. A true natural in any kitchen, Mesh enchants people with his simple, easy-to-cook and fuss-free approach to food. A strong believer in good quality, fresh, local ingredients, Mesh is always inspired to try new and creative ways to make food taste WOW – by showcasing the ingredients in their simplest and most basic forms.

Born in East London, South Africa, Mesh has published 2 recipe books and runs cooking classes/demonstrations here in Xi’an.  He is a qualified Chef and Graphic Designer and currently an English language teacher.