26 August 2007

Kavarma - Koprivshtitza style

The other week, I braved the crowds of Italian and Japanese tourists in Covent Garden and went to the market there. Rumour had it it did late nights in August, so that had to be checked out. I was a bit disappointed, despite not being really sure what to expect, but there was a French stand that had dried sausages and I just couldn't resist - wild boar, venison, garlic and choritzo - so to be on the safe side, I got one of each and parted with a substantial amoun of money. And we've been nibbling away at the venison one for a few days, but very little at a time, as it was very greasy. So I'd decided to cook the others or they'd go out of date.

So I made kavarma (stress on the last of the a's). Or "Каварма" in Bulgarian. And in the way they do it in Koprivshtitza (Копривщица), according to wikipedia. Basically it's a gyuvetch - but with salami. And the Koprivshtitza style is to crack an egg on top.

Today's ingredients were

3 onions
4 cloves of garlic
0.5 dl grapeseed oil
3 tbsp water
1 kg potatoes
3 tbsp sweet paprika
1 dl water
5 smallish carrots
3 courgettes
3 green peppers
3 handfuls of green beans
250 g fresh chestnut mushrooms
2.5 French sausages
4.5 dl water
1 can (400 g) tomatoes
salt, pepper

What I did:
  1. Peeled the onions, potatoes, carrots and courgettes. Cut all up fairly small.
  2. Cleaned the peppers and beans and diced. Peeled the mushrooms.
  3. Placed the oil in a large non-stick pan, added the water, onions and pressed in the garlic.
  4. Fried on medium heat, added the potatoes half way through and fried, stirring every few minutes, until the potatoes started changing colour as they were taking up the fat.
  5. Added the paprika and about a dl of water and stirred in well to get the paprika to dissolve, then turned off the hob.
  6. In my 9 fancy clay pots, I put 4 - 5 mushrooms in the bottom, then about a handful each of carrots, courgettes, beans and peppers.
  7. Added also salt, pepper, thyme and dill and stirred to get a bit of a mix.
  8. Sliced the sausages, about a third of a cm thick and put 4 - 5 in each clay pot.
  9. Divided up the potato/onion mix between them, added a bit more salt and pepper and 0.5 dl water.
  10. Put the lids on and placed in the oven and turned it on on gas mark 2 (130 degrees C) for about 15 minutes, then increased to gas mark 4 (170 degrees C) for another 5 minutes, then increased again to gas mark 5 (190 degrees C) and left to cook for 30 minutes.
  11. Then swapped the pots around, as I had to place them in two levels in the oven.
  12. In the mean time, I liquidised the can of tomatoes along with savory, parsley and mint.
  13. After a further 30 minutes, I took out the pots, distributed the tomato/herb mixture as evenly as possible, stirred as well as I could, then cracked an egg over each pot. Replaced the lid and put back in the oven for another 15 minutes.
Well, it was rather tasty, could have done with a bit more sausage, but I wanted to save the choritzo for a pizza later on in the week. Also should probably only have baked for about 5 - 6 minutes after adding the egg, it went a bit hard, would have been nice to have the gooey yolk.

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