South African Bobotie Meat Pie Made With Ground Bison
This truly unique meat pie is the national dish of South Africa. It’s a richly spiced, slightly sweet and fruity minced meat pie with a creamy egg custard topping. Bobotie is traditionally served with sides like steamed rice, bananas or coconut. However it’s an absolute showstopper and can easily be a meal all on its own. Traditionally made with ground beef or ground lamb, I’ve substituted our ground bison because of its delicious flavor that has the slightest touch of sweetness. Bobotie is truly a one-of-a-kind dish that you will keep making again and again.
Pasture Raised Bison That Roam Freely
Our bison live free range on 20,000 beautiful acres here in New Mexico, or roam freely on our carefully selected partner ranches. They are pasture raised and never administered any amount of hormones, steroids or antibiotics. These are powerful, strong animals that live essentially wild with minimal handling. There were once 60 million bison roaming North America, and we hope to see their numbers increase back to even 1 million during our lifetime.
By increasing the demand for ethically sourced bison meat, we can help to bolster their population. The more people that want to purchase this nourishing and nutrient dense meat, the more farmers will be encouraged to raise bison. This directly helps to increase the number of herds which assists in providing genetic diversity for the population.
South African Bobotie: This Might Be Your New Favorite Recipe
- 2 tablespoons bison tallow, butter or ghee
- 2 medium onions, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 slices of sourdough bread
- ½ cup grass fed milk
- 1 ½ tablespoons Madras curry powder
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 2 pounds ground bison meat
- 1 heaping teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 heaping teaspoon ground basil
- 1 heaping teaspoon ground oregano
- 1 large apple, grated
- Zest and juice of one lemon
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ⅓ cup mango chutney
For the mango chutney: (this will make significantly more chutney than you need - but it will stay good for up to a month in a sealed container in the refrigerator)
- 3 large mangos, peeled and diced
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- ½ cup chopped yellow onion
- 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
- ⅓ red bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅓ cup coconut sugar
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup water
- Sea salt to taste
For the egg custard topping layer:
- 3 large eggs
- 5 bay leaves
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup grass fed milk
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
To make the chutney:
- Combine all the ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for approximately 20 minutes or however long it takes to thicken. Remove from the heat and let cool.
To make the bobotie:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a medium bowl, Pour the half cup of milk over the two slices of sourdough bread. Set aside to soften.
- Melt the bison tallow, butter or ghee in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add in the onions and garlic and cook for approximately 3 minutes, or until tender and fragrant.
- Stir in the curry powder, cumin, coriander, thyme, basil and oregano. Stir in the turmeric as well, but reserve ¼ teaspoon for later use.
- Add the ground bison to the pan. Break the meat up as you stir it. Cook until just browned, then remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.
- Add the cooked bison meat to a large bowl. Add in the bread and milk mixture, ⅓ cup mango chutney, grated apple, the zest and juice of one lemon, and the Worcestershire sauce. Combine thoroughly. Add sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Add the mixture to a baking dish or a large cast iron skillet. Press the mixture down firmly into the pan so that the egg custard layer will stay sitting on top of the meat when it’s added later.
- Bake the meat mixture for approximately 40 minutes. Check after 35.
- Meanwhile, make the egg custard layer. In a bowl, combine the eggs, heavy cream, milk and the reserved ¼ teaspoon of ground turmeric.
- Remove the pan or skillet with the meat from the oven. Pour the egg custard mixture over the top. Arrange the 5 bay leaves on the surface.
- Place the dish back in the oven. Bake for another 15 minutes, or until the custard layer is completely set.
- Remove from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes before serving.