Something Special for Dinner
Sometimes you just have to splurge for a spectacular meal. This is one of my favorite dishes. It is rich, caloric, indulgent, flavorful and addictive!
Lamb is one of those meats that most Americans have either not had, or have had cooked to death. A few things about lamb. Sheep are known for their wool and the lanolin in that wool. As sheep grow, they make the lanolin and it permeates their whole bodies. Lamb is very young sheep, older sheep is called mutton. Mutton is notorious for the foul taste from all the lanolin in the meat. The age of the lamb when it is killed for it’s meat makes a difference. ‘Spring’ lamb is supposed to be about six months old. The label ‘lamb’ in the US is not too strictly controlled and animals a year or more old can still be labeled as lamb rather than as mutton. So it is important to have a butcher you know and can trust to sell you lamb that really is younger. It makes all the difference!
Most Americans exposure to lamb is either leg of lamb or chops both of which are usually cooked through until well done or beyond. This is a shame as lamb, while full flavored, tastes much better when it is medium or medium rare. My first experience of properly cooked lamb was when I was in Europe and had lamb medallions and they were cooked medium. It was the best lamb I’d ever had. It set me on a different path when it came to cooking lamb.
Lamb is much more popular in other parts of the world than in the U. S. of A. They appreciate the full flavor and have developed many recipes to fully use that flavor. The recipe I’m presenting today is Turkish. The Turks have a long history of fine food that is almost totally unknown in America. The rich history of the Ottoman Empire meant that they had influences on their cuisine from a vast area. The results are worth exploring.
Tas Kebap is a lamb stew. The lamb is cut in chunks and browned in butter to increase the flavors. Then the vegetables are sautéed and the lamb returned to the pan and the rest of the ingredients added. The sauce is tomato and allspice. This is an unusual and very flavorful combination.
This is one of those dished that I only do for special occasions because it is very caloric. So make small portions and eat slowly and savor the flavors. I did cut down on the amount of butter. Even so, it is still a very caloric recipe. But so worth every calorie. And it is so good, don’t be surprised if you and dinner mates lick the plate clean!
Category: Lamb|Middle East|Turkish
Yield: 8 servings
Preparation time: 2:00
Source: The Complete Middle East Cookbook
2 pounds lamb, boneless – cubed
1/8 cup butter
2 medium onions – finely chopped
1/4 cup bell pepper – chopped
4 medium tomatoes – chopped
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon allspice – ground
salt – I wait and add to taste at the table
black pepper – freshly ground
1/4 cup parsley – chopped
Trim meat and cut into 3/4 inch cubes.
Heat half the butter in a heavy pan and brown meat quickly on each side, transferring to a plate as it browns.
Add remaining butter to pan and add onion and green bell pepper. Sauté gently until onion is transparent.
Add tomato paste, chopped tomatoes and 1 and 1/4 cups of water. Stir well to lift browned sediment and add allspice, salt and pepper to taste and most of the parsley.
Return the lamb to the pan, cover and simmer gently for 1 and 1/2 hours or until the lamb is tender and the sauce has thickened.
Serve surrounded with rice, pouring some of the sauce over the rice and sprinkle the meat with the reserved chopped parsley, and serve
Serving Ideas : Serve with rice or mashed potatoes or egplant puree
Nutritional facts per serving (daily value): Calories 781.909kcal; Protein 8.353g (17%); Total Fat 80.234g (123%)(Sat. 41.463g (207%)); Chol. 93.866mg (31%); Carb. 6.954g (2%); Fiber 1.709g (7%); Sugars 3.91g; Calcium 42.765mg (4%); Iron 1.315mg (7%); Sodium 108.824mg (5%); Vit. C 17.92mg (30%); Vit. A 902.171IU (18%); Trans fat 0g
Exported from Shop’NCook Menu 4.0