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
- Trim off fat from the meat, dry with kitchen tissue and cut into 2 cm chunks.
- Wash and dice the aubergines and courgettes.
- Peel and dice the mushrooms.
- Peel and slice the carrots.
- Heat up a little of the oil and brown the pieces of lamb, then transfer to a large casserole dish, preferably clay.
- 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.
- 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.
- Place the canned tomatoes in two bowls and blend each.
- Trim the salad onions and slice, then divide between the two bowls
- Divide the soy beans between the two bowls.
- Wash and slice the runner beans, then divide into the two bowls.
- Add the beef stock to one of the bowls and the vegetable stock to the other.
- Finally stir into each bowl half of the harissa, garlic, paprika, mint, parsley, savory, salt and pepper.
- Pour the beef mixture into the casserole with the lamb and the vegetable mixture into the casserole with the veggies.
- Place in the oven and bake at 200 °C for 2 h.
- After the 2 hours are up, place 1 dl of water into a small bowl and stir 1 tbsp flour into each.
- 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.
- Put back in the oven and bake for another 30 minutes.
- 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.