I love me some trashy reality TV! Seriously, right now everyone who knows me is shocked that I didn’t choose Armenia for the letter A because in my mind the Kardashian sisters and I are best friends 4-eva (I wish I was kidding, but I’m not). Alas, I think it’s best that I save my first foray in to Armenian cooking for the day that me, Kourtney, Kim and Khloe are side by side in Kris Jenner’s beautiful kitchen talking about boys and braiding each others hair and stuff.
Instead I’m honoring the heritage of another reality star. Surprisingly I’ve never actually watched VH1’s Mob Wives. However, due to the fact that my brain in a storing house for completely useless and nonsensical information that will never help me in any aspect of my life, I happen to know that Mob Wife Drita D’Avanzo is of Albanian decent. So in honor of my love of trashy reality TV (or because of my love of both lamb and yogurt) I decided to make a dish from Albania.
Tave Kosi, according to the website where I found the recipe, is Albanian comfort food. Chunks of lamb are browned and then placed in a baking dish and covered with a yogurt sauce and baked. With 4 cups of yogurt, 5 eggs and a stick of butter this isn’t exactly low cal heart healthy cusine, but whatever, I never promised healthy recipes.
- 1.5lbs lamb stew meat
- 3 tablespoons white rice
- 32 ounces plain greek yogurt at room temerature
- 5 eggs
- 2 tablespoons flour
- olive oil or butter for browning meat
- 1/2 cup butter
- salt and pepper to taste
Roll meat in flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Heat butter or olive oil in heavy bottom pan and add meat chunks, turning each over as to brown meat on each side. Low-medium flame, be careful not to burn.
Once browned, add 1/2 cup water and let simmer, covered, for 20 minutes until tender.
Remove meat and place chunks 1-2 inches apart in a roasting pan.
In a medium pot (off heat), stir yogurt together with flour, rice and salt and pepper to taste. Add eggs. Stir until smooth.
Heat mixture on low-medium flame, stiring constantly, until mixture begins to thicken. Approximately 5-10 minutes. Do not boil.
Pour thickened yogurt over the meat that is already in the pan. Cut butter into small pieces and spread evenly over top of yogurt mixture.
Bake at about 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes. Yogurt will firm up and yellow, like a quiche.
FINAL VERDICT: C+
I totally get why this is comfort food, as the texture of the yogurt sauce once baked becomes airy and custard like, but I think it would’ve benefited from more seasonings. Also, as much I loved the texture of the yogurt custard their was just way too much custard to lamb ratio and also not enough rice. I’d consider making this again, but I’d increase the lamb to 2 pounds, add some garlic and maybe some other spices and double the rice.