Lamb and Syrah are a classic match, and South Africa turns out wonderful examples. Look to Swartland for juicy, mineral-flecked expressions or Stellenbosch for more structure. A textbook French Crozes-Hermitage works great with this comfort food, too.

Fall cooking is all about one-stop-shop dishes. Break from your usual casserole recipe and try this easy classic from South Africa. Bobotie, oft-considered the national dish, is akin to meatloaf or shepherd’s pie, but with curry. This recipe incorporates ground lamb for cooler autumn weather.

Serves: 8; Total Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes


2 slices of bread (either white or whole wheat)
1/3 cup of milk
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 lb. ground lamb
4 bay leaves
1 small lemon, juiced and zested
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste.
1 oz golden raisins
1 apple, cored and chopped
4 tablespoons fruit chutney
1 egg

1 cup whole milk
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt

Optional: Yellow rice, the traditional accompaniment.


1. In a medium bowl, soak bread in milk for ten minutes or until saturated. Pour off excess liquid, mash bread with a fork. Set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter an ovenproof baking dish, set aside.

3. In a saucepan, heat butter or oil until melted and shimmering. Sauté onion and garlic over medium heat, until translucent. Stir in curry powder and turmeric, cooking until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add ground lamb with bay leaves. Cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned. Add lemon juice and zest, stir then remove from heat. Remove bay leaves with tongs and set aside.

4. Add bread, egg, apple, raisins, and chutney to the lamb. Mix with a spoon until well-blended. Lay bay leaves in bottom of casserole dish, evenly spaced. Pack lamb mixture into dish. In a medium bowl, whisk the topping of eggs, milk, and salt. Pour over lamb mixture. Bake in the middle rack of the oven for 30 minutes, until the surface is firm and just tinged brown. Let cool 20 minutes. Serve with rice, if using.