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

Romanian Chicken Ghiveci

Romanian Chicken Ghiveci
Romanian Chicken Ghiveci

Stews are big in Romania and all over Eastern Europe.  One pot dishes, over time, provided a hearty sustenance for first, peasants in the fields and later, workers in the factories.  These dishes are always packed full of flavour from in season produce and, traditionally, home-grown herbs.  Served with a side portion of rice or dark rye bread, traditional meals are not only easy but can also be a really cheap way of feeding your 5,000 (family and/or friends).  I cooked this for my family and it proved to be every bit delicious as I had anticipated.

 

Ingredients

4 tbsp vegetable oil

1 mild onion, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 red peppers, seeded and sliced

1.5kg / 3 1/2 lb chicken pieces (thighs, drumsticks etc. as chicken on the bone is best for flavour)

3 potatoes, diced

1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary

1 tsp chopped fresh marjoram

1 tsp chopped fresh thyme

3 carrots, cut into chunks

1/2 small celeriac cut into chunks

120 ml dry white wine

2 courgettes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Chopped fresh rosemary, marjoram to garnish

Rye bread and/or white rice to serve

Instructions

Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole

Add the onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes until soft

Add the red peppers

ghiveci-2

Place the chicken pieces in a casserole and brown gently on all sides

ghiveci-3

After about 15 minutes, add the tomato puree, potatoes, herbs, carrots, celeriac, white wine and season to taste

ghiveci-4

Cover and cook over a gentle heat for 50 minutes

ghiveci-5

Add the sliced courgettes 5 minutes before the end of cooking

ghiveci-6

Season to taste

Garnish with herbs and serve with a portion of white rice or dark rye bread

Serve

Serve!

Bulgarian Chicken with Beans Casserole

This dish is the ultimate in one-pot cooking.  All the ingredients literally go in one pot which is put in the oven and after just 1 1/2 hours is cooked to absolute perfection.  This recipe serves 4 very hungry people!

Ingredients:

250g tin of kidney beans

8 chicken thighs and drumsticks

12 streaky bacon rashers

1 large white onion

250ml dry white wine

1/2 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp rosemary

pinch of nutmeg

150ml sour cream

1 tbsp paprika

lemon wedges, rosemary sprigs for garnish

Instructions:

Preheat oven at 180ºC

Arrange bacon around sides and base of ovenproof dish.

Sprinkle over onion.

Bacon & Onion

Sprinkle over kidney beans.

Bacon, onion, kidney beans

Trim chicken pieces.

Combine wine, oregano, rosemary and nutmeg.

Pour wine mix over the bacon, onion and beans.

Mix together sour cream and paprika in a bowl or plastic bag.

Sour cream & paprika

Toss the chicken in the sour cream.

Chicken in sour cream

Place coated chicken on top of onion and beans.

Ready for the oven!

Cover with foil or lid.

Place casserole dish in oven for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.

For the last 15 minutes of cooking, remove the foil or lid.

Serve garnished with rosemary and a wedge of lemon.

Ready to serve!
Ready to serve!

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