Thursday, August 28, 2008
2 slices white bread, crusts removed
1tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
450g lean minced beef or lamb
1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
1-2 tbsp mild curry powder
50g flaked almonds
zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
150ml beef stock
2tbsp apricot jam or mango chutney
salt and freshly ground black pepper
40g plain flower
1-2 bay leaves
2 large free range eggs, beaten
Good pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Soak the bread in half the milk for about 10 min, then squeeze out by hand, and keep both bread, and remaining milk to one side.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the onion and cook for 2 min. Add the mince and fry for a few minutes, until nicely brown. Add the apple, curry powder, almonds and sultanas, mix well and continue to cook for another 5 min.
Preheat to 180c/350f
Stir the lemon zest and stock into the mince, then crumble and mix in the squeezed-out bread. Season and transfer to a pie dish, leveling the mixture with a spatula. Warm the jam or chutney in the microwave for 20 seconds to make it runnier, then brush it over the top of the pie to seal it, and bake in the oven for 10 min.
Now make the topping. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, add the flour and beat for a minute or so until you have a light sandy texture. Gradually add the reserved milk, and the bay leaves, beating all the time so the mixture remains smooth. (if it does go lumpy, use a wire.) Take off the heat, beat in the eggs and nutmeg, and season.
Remove the mince from the oven, pour the topping evenly over the top, then bake for a further 35-40 minutes, until nicely browned.
I know I have made Babotie before, but I recently tried this recipe from Ainsley Harriott's Feel-Good Cookbook , and I think I like it better.
The original one that I made had a super easy meatloaf-like preparation, whereas in this one you have to cook the filling separately, then bake it, then add the topping and bake again. It seems like that would be a lot more work, but it was not a big deal in the end. It was worth it too, because it gave it a much nicer consistency. It was less meat loaf-y and more cottage pie-ish.
The flavour was lovely, and the topping was too. The whole family approved of this new version.