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Paleo Lamb Bobotie

Bobotie is considered to be a difinitive dish of South Africa, although it most likely originated in Batavia (now Known as Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia). It is one of the finest of the ground meat casserole dishes (at least in my opinion), with it's savory custard-like topping, and is really a must-try.

The version below is paleo-friendly, omitting certain traditionally used ingredients like raisins and chutney (too much sugar) and bread, and adding liver. I did miss the slightly sweet contrast of raisins, and might consider adding a few next time - perhaps minced so that a little will go a long way.

If you don't like liver, I recommend mincing it or even putting it in a food processor before adding it to the dish. It blends in pretty well.

Warning: the measurements in this recipe (aside from the meat portions) are approximate. I seldom measure anything when I cook. Instead I taste and smell and add ingredients til I'm satisfied.


2 lbs ground grassfed lamb

1 lb ground grassfed beef

1 lb chopped grassfed beef liver

1 large red onion, chopped

4 or 5 tbsp Green Pasture Coconut Ghee

1tbsp each whole coriander seed, mustard seed and cumin seed

3 fat cloves of garlic, pressed or finely minced

5 or 6 tbsp favorite curry powder

1/2 cup raw almonds, soaked in hot water for an hour, skinned and coarsely chopped

1 pear, peeled and chopped

8 fresh pastured eggs

1-2 cups fresh raw cream and/or raw milk

1/2 to 1 tsp garam masala spice blend

3 bay leaves

 Salt and pepper, to taste

Start by melting about about half of the coconut ghee in a frying pan. Add the coriander seeds, mustard seeds and cumin seeds, and saute til the mustard seeds start popping. Add the onion and saute on medium-low til they start to get tender, then add the garlic. Saute for another minute or two, then, before the onions start to brown too much, set aside in your baking dish. (I think the one I use is 9x13)

Add the rest of your coconut ghee and 1/2 of the curry powder. Mix well in the pan and add 1/2 of the meat and salt to taste. Cook til most of the pink is gone and add it to the baking dish, reserving the fat to cook the next batch. Proceed to do the same process with the rest of the curry powder and meat.

Mix the meat together with the onion mixture, the chopped pear, the chopped peeled almonds, and 2 of the raw eggs. Press it down pretty firmly in the baking dish, and then bake it at 350 for about 25 minutes. 

Beat the rest of the eggs with the fresh cream/milk and the garam masala. Remove the meat from the oven, lay down the bay leaves (I broke them in half first) and cover with the beaten eggs and cream. Return to the oven for about 15-20 more minutes - basically as long as it takes for the custard to set.

By now you will be drooling over the amazing aromas of lamb and curry that are filling your kitchen. I recommend sipping on a glass of red wine to pass the time.

When the custard is set, remove the Bobotie from the oven and let it sit for about 10 more minutes, if you can stand it. Then dig in.