Venison Bobotie (South African curry dish)

This classic South African dish is often made with beef or lamb nowadays, but in South Africa it can be made with kudu, zebra, springbok, or any number of wild game species.  The Dutch East India Company brought the flavor of curry made from Indian spices to South Africa in the 17th century and Bobotie became a favorite dish around the Cape Town area.  It tastes delicious with North American venison as well!

Venison Bobotie


1.5 lb ground venison
1 cup soft bread crumbs (about 1.5 slices of bread, crumbled)
1 cup milk
1 egg
1 medium onion, chopped fine
¼ cup chopped almonds
¼ cup raisins
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2-3 tsp. of curry powder
¼-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1.5 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
For custard topping*:
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
Dash of paprika powder



Mix venison, bread crumbs, milk, 1 egg, onion, almonds, raisins, lemon juice, curry, cinnamon, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until ingredients are well mixed together. Spread meat mixture in an ungreased 2 or 3 quart deep casserole dish.  Cook in 325 degree oven for 45 minutes, uncovered.  If necessary, carefully drain any excess fat after cooking.

In a small bowl combine 2 eggs and 1 cup milk, until mixed well.  Pour this custard topping over the meat mixture, sprinkle with paprika powder, and return the casserole to the oven.  Cook about 30 minutes until the custard is set and lightly browned on top.  If you have a convection  oven use that setting at 325 degrees to cook the custard topping.  Cut into wedges to serve. Serves 4-6 people.

*My family likes a thicker layer of custard on top, so I increase the custard recipe to 3 eggs and 1.5 cups of milk or even 4 eggs and 2 cups of milk if there is room in my casserole dish.  It may take longer for the custard to set if you increase the custard topping ingredients.  This recipe was adapted from Betty Crocker’s International Cookbook, 1980.

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