Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Another new recipe

We watched Nigel Slater the other night for the first time ever, and he showed a recipe using mashed butternut squash to top a shepherd's pie, instead of mashed potato.  I was inspired, and tonight made my own version.  If you're not familiar with bobotie, I'd suggest you make that first, before trying this variant.  It's not for nothing that bobotie would be a hot contender for South Africa's national dish!

Bobotie Shepherd's Pie with Butternut Squash

This is a combination of a South African bobotie (a Cape Malay dish made with curried minced lamb and one of our favourites!) with a traditional shepherd's pie.    There are many versions of the bobotie recipe, and this one I'm linking to is similar to the one I did, though you'll notice I left out milk, breadcrumbs and egg, as I didn't want the meat filling to set the way a bobotie does.  I also didn't add the bobotie topping, using mashed butternut squash instead.

This recipe gives the quantities for Jenny and me, so you may want to adjust it a bit. 

250 gm minced lamb
Olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, crushed
10 ml (2 teaspoons) curry powder
2.5 ml (half a teaspoon) ground turmeric
Finely grated zest of ¼ lemon
Sea salt and black pepper
50 gm dried apricots, chopped
Half an apple, peeled, cored and chopped.  The bobotie recipe says Granny Smith; I used a Braeburn I happened to have.
30 gm sultanas
25 gm slivered almonds, roasted in a dry frying pan
2 lemon, orange or bay leaves
Half a butternut squash

You can peel the butternut squash before you steam it, or not.  If you leave it, it will take slightly longer to cook but be easier to peel.  First cut it into wedges or chunks, whatever you prefer, remove any seeds, then steam for about 20 minutes until it's tender.

While it's doing that, fry the onion and garlic gently in the oil until translucent.
Stir in the curry powder and turmeric and cook briefly until fragrant.
Mix in the minced lamb and brown it, then add the lemon zest and juice, salt, pepper, apricots, apple, sultanas and almonds.

If your timing is good, both will be ready at the same time.  Put the mince mixture into a pyrex dish, spreading it out flat, push the leaves into the mince mixture, then spread the mashed squash on top, covering the entire surface.  Our pie ended up about 6 cm deep and perhaps 20 cm across.

Dot with butter and stick it in the oven on flat-out (our fan oven only does about 200ÂșC) for 20 minutes, until the topping is starting to go slightly crispy and brown.

Some Cape Malays put cumin, coriander and cloves in their boboties, but I haven't yet tried that.  Personally I'd like to try cardamom, too.

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