Meat + fruit. It’s a combination you must love to enjoy this meatloaf, but I am and I do (if you smiled at the taste of your first bacon-wrapped date, this recipe is for you). I’d never heard of bobotie (pronounced BO-booh-tea) before last week, when I discovered a wild and wonderful recipe on Saveur. This isn’t the first time I’ve made a Paleo-friendly meatloaf, but a curried version that’s described as a contender for the national dish of South Africa sounded like too much fun to pass up!
After I started researching different versions of the recipe, I found this centuries-old ethnic dish mentioned in the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, not to mention on the sites of culinary celebrities such as Nigella Lawson and Rachael Ray. How had I never heard of this dish before? In any case, I know it now and it’s a keeper: a combination of rich, pungent meat and jammy fruit, warming spices and the crunch of a slivered almond topping (I opted to replace the traditional custard topping of eggs and milk with nuts). Don’t let the long ingredient list discourage you from trying this Paleo-friendly recipe…it’s a matter of moments to spoon in the rich mixture of spices. Enjoy!
Paleo Bobotie (South African Curried Meatloaf)
Both savory and sweet, this is meatloaf as you've never tasted it before (no bread in the ingredients. . . completely grain-free!)
Heat oven to 350F. Combine tea, raisins, and apricots in a bowl, let soak for 30 minutes. Drain, and reserve ⅓ cup soaking liquid. Set both aside.
Roughly chop the onion, and finely grate with the garlic in a food processor. Heat olive oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Cook garlic and onion until lightly caramelized, about 15 minutes.
Add turmeric, coriander, cayenne, cumin, pepper, fennel, and salt. Cook (stirring frequently) until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add soaked fruit and soaking liquid plus the vinegar, cook until almost all liquid evaporates.
Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl then add beef, lamb and almond flour, mix until evenly combined. Transfer meat mixture to a foil-lined loaf pan.
Scatter almonds in a single layer over the top of the meat loaf, pressing gently to adhere the slivers to the meat mixture.
Bake for approximately 40 minutes. Cool, then gently remove from the pan and slice.
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