Thursday, January 12, 2012

Bobotie with Saffron Rice Paired with 2009 Glenelly The Glass Collection Stellenbosch South Africa Cabernet Sauvignon

Bobotie with Saffron Rice-2

Bobotie (pronounced with emphasis on the second syllable and the “tie” as “tee”) is a wonderful South African interpretation of meat loaf.  In my mind, meatloaf is a great cold weather comfort food.  But if you have grown tired of the same old uninspired meatloaf, this recipe is a fruit and curry filled take on the traditional.

Bobotie with Saffron Rice-1

Bobotie differs from the average meatloaf by adding fruit (raisins, apples, apricots), curry, and a wash of eggs to cover the dish with a pleasant texture and added layer of flavor.  This variant of meatloaf is a wonderful blend of subtle flavors that make it welcome change to your meatloaf repertoire.  My interpretation of South African Bobotie features ground bison and a tablespoon of Trinidad pepper sauce to add some kick and yet another layer of flavor.

For the pairing, my first decision point was to choose a South African wine.  Next, I decided to take the route of creating a balance in the pairing through contrast rather than complement.  I decided to go with a South African Cabernet Sauvignon and settled on the 2009 Glenelly The Glass Collection Stellenbosch South Africa Cabernet Sauvignon.  With a 90 point rating from Robert Parker, it is a classic Cabernet from South Africa but has a bit more of a polished style than others I've tried. Very balanced from start to finish with plenty of plush fruit, and firm acidity corralling the dark fruit.  This is a food friendly wine.

2009 Glenelly The Glass Collection South Africa Cabernet Sauvignon-1

My hopes for balance through contrast were rewarded.  The dark plush fruits added depth of flavor to the brighter fruits in the dish, and the acidity balanced the richness nicely.  At $15, the 2009 Glenelly The Glass Collection Stellenbosch South Africa Cabernet Sauvignon is a great value.  With slightly coarse tannins, I recommend decanting to let the wine open, or better yet, save it in your collection for a couple of years.  It is sure to mature nicely.



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 2 pounds ground bison
  • 2 apples pealed and grated
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 slices thick-sliced bread
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup almonds coarsely chopped in a food processor
  • 1 tablespoon Trinidad Pepper Sauce
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped dried apricots
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Juice from 1/2 of a small lemon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Butter


  1. Cut bread into 1 inch cubes and soak in milk.
  2. Brown the bison in a hot skillet over medium high heat with one tablespoon olive oil. When browned, transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  3. Sauté onions and minced garlic with one tablespoon olive oil until soft.
  4. Add curry, brown sugar, salt and pepper, and lemon juice and continue to cook for two minutes.
  5. Transfer onions to the bowl with ground bison.
  6. Lightly squeeze milk from the bread and add to the bowl with the bison. Do not add the milk.
  7. Fold in one egg, grated apple, raisins, almonds, pepper sauce, and apricots.
  8. Coat a casserole dish with butter, and add the mixture.
  9. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes.
  10. Beat 2 eggs with the milk used for soaking the bread.
  11. Pour eggs and milk over the casserole, add several pads of butter and the bay leaves to the top of the casserole.
  12. Return to the oven for another 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
  13. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  14. Remove the bay leaves, cut into squares, and serve over saffron rice.

In vino veritas, buen provecho.


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