Oneeda's Kitchen Blog

Balkans Lamb and Mixed Fruit Pilaff

Posted on: May 26, 2010

This dish makes a delicious main meal or center meal. Serve with tossed salad, European bread and wine.
This recipe is easy to make, bur can take 2 1/2 hours t0 prepare. This is a classic lamb dish but our vegetarian visitors can try substituting the lamb with potabello mushroom slice

Ingredients
4 oz. [1/2 cup] butter
1 medium-sized onion, thinly sliced
1 ½ lb.boned leg of lamb, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 oz. [1/2 cup] dried apricots, soaked
overnight in cold water, drained and halved
3 tablespoons sultanas or seedless raisins
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon freshly ground blackpepper
1 1/2 pints [3 3/4 cups] water
8 oz. [I 1/3 cups] long-grain rice,washed, soaked in cold water for 30 minutes and drained

lamb-biyrani.jpg (11468 bytes)

Preparation
In a large, deep frying-pan, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until it is soft and translucent but not brown.

Add the lamb and cook, stirring and turning occasionally, for 5 to 8 minutes, or until it is lightly browned all over. Stir in the apricots, sultanas or seedless raisins, I teaspoon of . the salt, the cinnamon and pepper.

Pour in 16 fluid ounces [2 cups] of the water and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to moderately low, cover the pan and simmer the meat for I hour, or until the meat is tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife.

Meanwhile, put the rice in a medium sized saucepan. Pour over the remaining water and add the remaining salt. Place the saucepan over high heat and bring the water to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer the rice for 15 to 20 minutes. If all the liquid is not absorbed, continue to cook the rice, uncovered, over low heat until the rice is dry. Remove the saucepan from the heat and set aside.

Preheat the oven to moderate 350 F (Gas Mark 4, 180 C). Place one-third of the rice in a medium-sized ovenproof casserole. Cover with a layer of one half of the meat mixture, then top with another one-third of the rice. Continue to make layers in this manner until all the ingredients have been used up, finishing with a layer of rice. Cover the casserole with a lid and carefully place it in the centre of the oven. Bake the pilaff for 20 minutes.

Remove the casserole from the oven and serve the pilaff at once, straight from the casserole. Serve with some well-chilled white wine.

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