Bobotie (Curried Beef Casserole) Recipe

Bobotie (Curried Beef Casserole)

Serves 4 to 6

Bobotie is a beloved comfort food casserole enjoyed in South Africa. The curried ground beef filling complements a creamy, custard-like topping. Yellow rice and cucumber salad are great sides for this entrée.


  • 3 slices white bread, crusts removed
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups small yellow onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup mango chutney
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • Custard Topping:
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  • 3 bay leaves


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place bread in bowl with milk to soak. Grease a 10-inch casserole dish or 10-inch cast iron pan and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-low heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add onion and sauté 3 minutes or until soft and translucent. Stir in garlic and spices. Add ground beef, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook and stir, breaking meat into crumbles. Once beef is no longer pink, remove pan from heat.
  3. Add vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, lemon zest, lemon juice, chutney, and raisins (if using). Mix well. Add soaked bread and work into mixture. Adjust seasoning, to taste.
  4. Transfer mixture to prepared casserole dish. Use the back of a large spoon to pack it down. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 40 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, whisk together all custard ingredients (except bay leaves).
  6. After meat has baked 40 minutes, remove from oven and uncover. Pour custard mixture over top. Arrange bay leaves on custard. Return to oven and bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until egg mixture has set.

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