Recipe: Balkan Rack of Lamb in Sour Cream

Rack of lamb

There are parts of the Balkans that lamb just isn’t popular, however, there are regions in which dishes such as rack of lamb are simply adored.  As with most cultural traditions and traits related to this region, food can be highly polarised.  Now lamb is in season this foolproof recipe should provide you with a show-stopping meal suitable for any guest.

Balkan Rack of Lamb

Ingredients

1 rack of lamb

50g butter

3 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped

1 tbsp sea salt

1 tbsp cracked black pepper

1 tbsp cornflour dissolved in a small amount of water

2 tbsp sour cream

1 tsp tomato puree

1 cup red wine

250ml lamb stock

1 bay leaf

Instructions

Mix the rosemary, salt and pepper into the butter

Rub the butter onto the rack of lamb

Pour wine and stock and place bay leaf into roasting tin

Place rack of lamb above stock

Balkan Rack of Lamb

Cook in the oven according to taste (rare, medium, well done etc.)

Remove lamb from oven, cover and leave to rest

Put roasting tin on hob

Add cornflour to roasting tin and stir

When the gravy reaches a simmer add the sour cream and tomato puree

Carve the rack of lamb and place on plate with sauce drizzled over the top

Serve with seasonal vegetables

Serbian Roast Lamb with Oregano & Garlic Crust Recipe

When Serbs celebrate you can guarantee that they’ll either be eating roast pork or lamb.  I decided to use my recent trip to Belgrade as inspiration to create a roast lamb dish.  Here’s the recipe…

Ingredients

Leg or shoulder of lamb

50g butter

Generous handful of dried oregano

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 lemon, sliced

1 white onion, sliced

500ml lamb stock

50ml red wine

Instructions

Place sliced lemon and onion in a roasting tin

Mix the butter with the oregano and garlic

Use a sharp knife to make insertions into the lamb (this will aid the marinating process)

Slather the butter mixture onto the lamb

Pour in the wine and a little of the stock

Place the lamb in the roasting dish

Serbian Roast Lamb

Cover the tin with foil

(You’ll need to keep adding more stock to the tin every hour)

Put the tin in the oven on a low heat (about 140ºC) for at least three hours

After 2 1/2 hours remove the foil from the tin

Place lamb back in the oven for a final 30 minutes to brown the crust

Remove from the oven and allow lamb to rest before carving

Sieve the juices, stock etc. into a saucepan

Heat the stock until it has become concentrated into a thick jus

Roast Serbian Lamb

Serve the lamb with your choice of side dishes

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Chanachi po-Gruzinksi – Russian Baked Lamb Recipe

This Russian lamb one-pot recipe is a personal family favourite.  It’s great to serve in individual dishes so you don’t have to worry about dishing it up.  It’s very easy too.  Simply a case of putting it together and cooking on a low heat.

Chanachi po-Gruzinksi - Russian Baked Lamb Recipe

Ingredients (serves 4)

600g roughly-diced potatoes

1 large white onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1 aubergine, sliced

1 mild red chilli, chopped and deseeded

800g boneless, diced lamb

3 tbsp parsley

3 tbsp coriander

4 bay leaves

8 black peppercorns

50g butter

75 ml tomato puree

1 litre beef stock

3 tomatoes, sliced

Instructions

Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius

Lightly grease individual casserole dishes with rapeseed oil

Put onion, potatoes, lamb, chilli garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, coriander, parlsey in casserole dishes

Heat butter in pan

When melted add in tomato puree and stir

Chanachi po-Gruzinksi - Russian Baked Lamb Recipe

Add in beef stock and heat until simmering

Put slices of aubergine on top of each casserole dish

Chanachi po-Gruzinksi - Russian Baked Lamb Recipe

Pour tomato/beef stock mixture over casserole dishes

Place dishes in oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes

Chanachi po-Gruzinksi - Russian Baked Lamb Recipe

Baste aubergine etc. on a regular basis with any left over tomato/beef stock mixture

20 minutes before the end of cooking, remove dishes from oven, top with slices of tomato

Chanachi po-Gruzinksi - Russian Baked Lamb Recipe

Remove from oven and serve with slices of fresh bread

Uzbekistani Pilaff Recipe

Pilaff is a classic dish for entertaining and can be varied to personal tastes easily.   Traditionally, everyone digs in from a big communal dish which makes it great for this time of year when you have visitors for dinner and want to do something a little different.

Ingredients

600g lean boneless lamb stewing steak

5 tbsp rapeseed oil

700ml water

1 tsp smoked salt

2 carrots, chopped finely

2 white onions, chopped finely

400g long grain rice

1 whole garlic, outer paper removed but left intact/whole

5 sprigs fresh parsley to garnish

Instructions

Healt the oil in a flameproof casserole dish

Add the lamb and fry, stirring frequently for 10 minutes until brown on all sides

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Add the water

Bring to the boil

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Reduce the heat and simmer for 40 minutes until meat is tender

Meanwhile, heat more oil in separate pan

Add the carrots and onions and stir-fry for 5 minutes until softened

pilaff-4

Add the rice and stir-fry for 1 minute until translucent

pilaff-5

Transfer rice mixture to the lamb and add the garlic

pilaff-6

Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes until rice is tender and has absorbed most of the liquid

Serve the pilaff heaped onto a warmed dish, garnished with parsley

Uzbeki Lamb Pilaff

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Harcho – Georgian Lamb Soup Recipe

This is a great hearty dish, perfect for a big party of people and ideal served with chunky fresh bread.  The best bit about the dish is it is easily adaptable to cooking in a slow cooker so when you come home from work, your home smells great and you can sit down to a home-cooked meal even when you’ve had a hard day at work!

Ingredients

600g lamb chunks

1.5l lamb stock

3 large white onions chopped finely

5 garlic cloves crushed

3 tomatoes cut into quarters

5 tbsp rapeseed oil

1 tbsp tomato puree

5 tbsp long grain rice

5 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

3 tbsp coriander for garnish

Instructions

Heat the oil in a pan and seal the lamb chunks

georgianlambsoup-2

Place the lamb chunks into a slow cooker with the stock and garlic

Fry the onion in the rest of the oil for 5 minutes

geogianlambsoup3

Add the puree and tomatoes for 1 minute

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Stir and add to the lamb and stock

Add the chili and parsley and cook for 4 to 5 hours

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The rice can be added initially to the slow cooker, but if you are at home add 30 minutes before you want to serve

To serve, distribute the lamb between dishes (serves 4) and add equal quantities of liquid and rice mixture to each one

Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with chunky bread

Harcho - Georgian Lamb Soup

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Lamb Meatball Soup with Vegetables

This family recipe combines flavours from the Mediterranean, the Middle East and Central Europe.  Variations of the recipe are popular in Romania, Bulgaria and in the East Adriatic region.  It can be made as a starter, or as I did, for as a hearty main course.  It is ideal for using up all your leftover vegetables.  It’s the ultimate in one pot cooking; serve it with some crusty bread and hey presto – a delicious meal!

Lamb Meatball Stew
Lamb Meatball Stew

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