With a few tweaks, this hearty South African classic of mildly spiced ground beef topped with a savoury custard becomes 100% low-carb.
Raisins or other dried fruit are traditional, but they trigger my sugar addiction, so I replaced them with chopped apple. I made this for a recent international potluck dinner with friends — I was proud to represent my South African heritage.
The dish on its own is perfect for strict low-carb or keto diets, while adding side dishes of your choice makes it work for moderate or liberal low-carb.
The dish was originally inspired by the recipe at Foodie Goes Primal, but I’ve changed up the spices, removed the dried fruit (as described above) and made the dish larger to feed a crowd.
PS The title of this post references a certain classic movie. If you know which one, comment and let me know!
Mildly spicy and close to zero carbs
For the meat mixture:
- 3 tbsp of one of the following: coconut oil, olive oil, lard, butter or ghee
- 1.5 large onions, finely chopped
- 1.5 tbsp curry powder (I use Sun Brand Madras curry powder, which gets high ratings from Cook’s Illustrated)
- 1.5 tsp turmeric
- 1.5 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp ground coriander seed
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 3 lb / 1.5 kg ground beef (free-range, if possible)
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup apple, finely chopped
- 3 eggs (free-range, if possible)
For the custard topping:
- 4 large eggs plus one egg yolk (free-range, if possible); the extra egg yolk gives the topping a lovely golden colour
- 1 cup heavy cream or creamy coconut milk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Freshly ground pepper to taste, approx. 1/4 tsp
- 3 bay leaves
- Preheat the oven to 180 C / 325 F
- Heat the coconut oil over medium-low heat in a large pot
- Add the onions and spices, and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is golden and translucent
- Add the ground beef and salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the meat is no longer pink.
- Stir in the chopped apple.
- In a small bowl, whisk the 3 eggs together until they’re well combined, then pour over the meat mixture. Stir well.
- Put the meat and egg mixture into a large baking dish and pat to distribute evenly.
- Now make the savoury custard: In a separate bowl, use an egg-beater or a whisk to combine the eggs, egg yolk, cream or coconut milk, salt and pepper.
- Pour the custard evenly over the meat
- Position the bay leaves decoratively on top.
- Bake for about 45 minutes, carefully rotating the dish once after about 25 minutes to ensure even browning
- Bobotie num num!