Lamb Stew and
Serves 2 (with some leftovers)
This is my version of tas (das)
kebabi, a Turkish lamb stew that supposedly originated in the 16th c.
It is served over an "eggplant cream" called sultan's delight (hűnkar
begendi). The stew cooks for 3 hours so plan ahead to make this dish
for Sunday supper. My version of the stew is a little spicy and blends
well with the fairly bland eggplant cream. You can make the stew less
spicy by using less cayenne.
Ingredients for Lamb Stew
2-3 lamb shoulder chops
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup robust red wine
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp powdered allspice
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch of sugar
1/2 a yellow onion, coarsely diced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
Ingredients for Eggplant Cream
1 Italian-style eggplant
2 TBS butter
1 TSB flour
1/2 cup milk
3 TBS kasseri cheese (or pecorino), coarsely grated
- Preheat oven to 325º F.
- Trim off all the fat from the lamb chops
and remove any bones.
- Cut the lamb into 1 inch cubes.
- Brown the lamb cubes in olive oil in a heavy bottomed
pan that you can also put into the oven. When browned, remove the cubes
and use the same pan to sauté the onions and garlic. When they are
lightly browned, remove from pan and mix with lamb cubes.
- Deglaze the pan with red wine. Add
water and spices, sugar, tomatoes and the lamb/onion mixture.
- Bring the whole thing to a simmer, cover and place in a
preheated oven. Cook for about 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Remove to stove top and cook uncovered for another 30 minutes to reduce the
liquid. The stew should be thick and dark.
- While the stew is cooking, bake the whole eggplant at
400º F on a baking sheet lined with foil
for about 30 minutes.
- When the eggplant is very
soft remove from the oven and let it cool. When it is cool enough to
handle, peel off the skin and scrap off any eggplant that remains on the skin.
Discard the skin.
- Separate the lobes of the
eggplant and scrap away as much of the seeds as possible.
- Place the eggplant in a colander to drain for a few
minutes while you make the béchamel.
- Melt butter in a saucepan and stir in flour. Cook
the flour/butter mixture for few minutes, then gradually add the milk,
stirring constantly to keep it from lumping.
- Cook the béchamel for a few minutes, then scrap it into
a large bowl. Add the drained eggplant and mash lightly with a pastry
blender. (Do not puree the eggplant and do not over mash it. You
want it to have some texture.) Add the grated cheese and season with
salt and pepper to taste. At this point, the eggplant cream can either
be kept warm on your stove top or reheated in the oven when ready to serve.
- Spread a dollop of the
hot eggplant cream in a warm, shallow individual bowl and
top with a ladleful of stew.