Tuesday, 26 June 2007


This has been a favourite of mine at Tupelo Honey for a long time. Last time I went, I decided to reconstruct it. The recipe is of South African origin and the internet is riddled with recipes. This recipe is a mixture of those I found online. It works well.


Serves: 6

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions, peeled and sliced
2 1/2 pounds good quality lean ground lamb
1 thick slice of white bread
3/4 pint milk
1 tablespoon curry powder*
1 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/2 tablespoons malt vinegar
1/2 cup seedless raisins
50g flaked almonds
2 tablespoons Slap and Pickle (or similar) chutney
2 bay leaves
3 large or 4 small/medium eggs

* I use 1 part ground cumin, 1 part garam masala, 2 parts ground coriander, 1/2 part chilli powder. You probably have your own recipe.


For the meat:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Heat oil in large sauté or very large frying pan. Add the onions and cook over a medium heat until transparent. Add the meat and fry until lightly browned and crumbly. Break it up with a wooden spatula as you go - I hate large lumps in my mince! Soak the bread in the milk, squeeze out excess milk and mash with a fork. Reserve the milk for the batter and set aside.

Add the bread, curry powder, sugar, salt, pepper, turmeric, vinegar, raisins, almonds, chutney to the meat mixture and continue to fry for 5 minutes. Spoon the mixture into a baking dish, press it down well so that it has a flat surface and there are minimal gaps. Nestle in the bay leaves and bake for 50-60 minutes.

For the batter:

Beat the eggs with the remaining milk, season well and pour over the meat mixture about 20 minutes before end of the baking time. Turn the oven up to 220 for the last stretch and keep a close eye on the batter crust. When it goes golden brown it's done. If it goes too dark, it probably means you've dried out the dish.

This is real comfort food. Its like a shepherd's pie with a twist. I serve it with a salad of flat leaf parsley, cubed tomatoes and cucumber dressed with a mustardy vinegarette.

Notes for gluttons

Try substituting 1/2 pound of lamb with the same weight of minced fatty pork. I tried this and the extra moistness was noticable.

If you like more of a curry flavour, try substituting the Slap and Pickle chutney for Patak's Brinjal Pickle.

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