4 May 2014

Lamb Gyuvetch for Easter

Once again the family gathered together to celebrate Easter and this year everyone came to our house.

Traditionally in Bulgaria, lamb is on the menu for Easter (at least that's what my Mum says) and so I decided to do that. I also decided to try one of the recipes in a cook book I got a couple of years ago. However, after reading it through, I felt it didn't have enough veggies, so I kind improvised quite a lot. But it turned out really good and I'm sorry to say, I completely forgot to take a photo.

Since a significant number of the family are vegetarians, I made two stews - one with lamb and one without. That was the only difference. And the amounts make loads of both stews, so really good for a large crowd.


2 kg lamb shoulder fillets
3 largeish aubergines
3 large courgettes
900 g button mushrooms
8 medium carrots
1 dl grapeseed oil
400 g salad onions
2 cans of tomatoes (of 400 g each)
300 g frozen soya beans
100 g runner beans
1 l beef stock
0.5 l vegetable stock
5 tbsp harissa
4 cloves of garlic, pressed
3 tsp smoked paprika
1 dl fresh mint leaves, chopped
1 dl fresh parsley, chopped
0.5 dl dried savory
salt and pepper
2 dl water
2 tbsp flour
2 dl white wine
boiled potatoes


  1. Trim off fat from the meat, dry with kitchen tissue and cut into 2 cm chunks.
  2. Wash and dice the aubergines and courgettes.
  3. Peel and dice the mushrooms.
  4. Peel and slice the carrots.
  5. Heat up a little of the oil and brown the pieces of lamb, then transfer to a large casserole dish, preferably clay.
  6. Add a little more oil to the pan and fry half of the aubergines, courgettes, mushrooms and carrots for a few minutes until the start softening, then transfer to the casserole with the lamb.
  7. Heat up a little oil in another frying pan and fry the remaining aubergines, courgette, mushrooms and carrots for a few minutes and transfer to a separate casserole dish.
  8. Place the canned tomatoes in two bowls and blend each.
  9. Trim the salad onions and slice, then divide between the two bowls
  10. Divide the soy beans between the two bowls.
  11. Wash and slice the runner beans, then divide into the two bowls.
  12. Add the beef stock to one of the bowls and the vegetable stock to the other.
  13. Finally stir into each bowl half of the harissa, garlic, paprika, mint, parsley, savory, salt and pepper.
  14. Pour the beef mixture into the casserole with the lamb and the vegetable mixture into the casserole with the veggies.
  15. Place in the oven and bake at 200 °C for 2 h.
  16. After the 2 hours are up, place 1 dl of water into a small bowl and stir 1 tbsp flour into each.
  17. Take out the casseroles of the oven and add the water/flour mixture to them. Also add 1 dl of white wine to each and stir.
  18. Put back in the oven and bake for another 30 minutes.
  19. Serve with boiled potatoes.

I think I've sussed the secret with a successful gyuvetch - fry both meat and vegetables before the bake. Also, even if slow-cooking, aim to bake above 100 °C. Either way, the stew was fabulous, though a bit on the runny side, despite the flour. Good for dipping bread in. The whole crowd seemed to enjoy it and we had a great Easter.

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