“LouLou…it’s a Bokke Bokke classic”

  • SERVES: 4
  • PREP TIME: 20 mins
  • COOKING TIME: 35 mins
  • DIFFICULTY: easy
  • IDEAL FOR: family, crowds, midweek meals
  • BUDGET: £

It’s all come to an end… the World Cup Rugby 2019.

And as some may know, my team (the All Blacks) went out at the semi’s to England.

But sadly, England (my second team) didn’t manage to pull off a final’s victory against South Africa.

But we still ended up with a full house again – which I always love.

What to cook conundrum… again

I needed to get my thinking cap on for what food to cook up that didn’t require too much fiddling and faffing or lot’s of obscure ingredients.

Plus, this time we have a bunch of lanky(-slightly-awkward)-rugby-keen teenagers staying over.

They all wanted to watch the match altogether.

So, it was standard rules – ‘sleeping bags and crashing on the floor’.

We don’t have time to make up beds and do lots of unnecessary washing. Life’s too short.

Especially as our friends and neighbours were coming over post-rugby for a hearty meal and the usual banter.

So, when it came to food ideas for the weekend…

How could I turn away from a recommendation that’s a ” Bokke Bokke classic”… whatever that means?! 😉

Bobotie (ba-boor-tea)

And it came from our good friends visiting the previous weekend – Steph and James (who we did the Slow-cooked chilli with).

Steph aka my #italianmama (because she knows how to cook with her strong Italian roots) but is South African.

So, it was Steph who inspired me to try Bobotie.

Not to be confused with Bobote.

This is a village in the municipality of Aleksandrovac, Serbia. According to the 2002 census, the village has a population of 360 people

Bobotie on the other hand, is essentially a South African version of a Shepherd’s Pie…

Just with a twist or two… or three.

With all good recipes comes a story…

It has a spicier, sweeter vibe going on and it’s made entirely from Springbok

I’m joking! Well, in this particular recipe it can be made with beef or lamb.

So, as the culinary ‘history’ goes, the Dutch and English settlers introduced sausages and bobotie.

But that’s a contentious issue, apparently.

It was also recorded in Indonesia and had a custard topping

And who doesn’t love custard on a savoury dish, right?! Um…

Anyway, allegedly, the first recorded recipe was in a Dutch cookbook in 1609.

Here’s a little life lesson

So, the Dutch were first to put the Bobotoe recipe into a cookbook.

And therefore, claimed the introduction of this recipe to South Africa.

Which kind of reminds me of a similar technique we use in our household.

Which is… that ‘if-say-something-3-times-it-makes-it-true’.

So, the lesson here which the Dutch nailed, is always be first to claim something (or say it three times) and you’ll get the cred.

And thus, the Dutch introduced this dish to South Africa and the Malay community who adopted the dish.

Now it’s our turn to give it a go…

And hey, tell everyone it’s a dish you made up! hell, why not, yah?

It didn’t last long! Spicy, earthy and with a bit of sweetness

If you have any family recipes or family favourites, let me know.

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5 from 1 vote


A traditional South African recipe
Course Main Course
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 people
Cost ££


  • 1 kg minced beef or lamb
  • 1 fairly thick sliced crust-less bread It can be brown or white
  • 375 ml milk
  • 25 ml oil
  • 2 sliced onions
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fruit chutney Mrs Balls Original chutney is THE best but if you can't find it, don't stress
  • 1 tbsp smooth apricot jam
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tbsp brown vinegar
  • 6 tbsp sultanas (don’t replace with raisins – they are too sweet; sultanas are much better for this recipe)
  • 3 eggs
  • bay leaves


  • First off, soak your bread in milk.
    Grease a large baking dish and heat the oven to 180C (160C fan)/gas 4.
  • Warm a large, wide casserole pot over a medium heat and, and add oil and butter and fry the garlic and onions until the onions are soft.
  • Then add curry powder, salt, chutney, jam, Worcestershire sauce, turmeric and vinegar and mix well together.
  • Drain the milk from your soaked bread (keep the drained milk) and mash the bread.
    Then add the bread to pan together with mince and sultanas.
  • Cook over low heat, stirring, until the meat is cooked, then remove it from stove.
    Now add 1 beaten egg and mix everything together well. Lastly, spoon into a greased baking dish, approx 28 x 16 cm baking dish to the top.
  • Beat the remaining 2 eggs with the leftover drained milk (hopefully around 300 ml, or a little more).
    Pour over meat mixture and put a few bay leaves on top.
  • Bake uncovered in 180C for approximately 35 mins or until set (nicely browned).
  • Serve with rice .
    Note: You can also serve alongside it chutney, nuts or bananas.
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