Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Bulgarian Lamb and Potatoes

Discover the culinary richness of Bulgaria with this gourmet take on a classic, where the lamb marries effortlessly with aromatic spices and hearty potatoes for a truly unforgettable feast.

Must Try Main Courses

Embark on a culinary voyage to the heart of Bulgaria with this gourmet rendition of a classic: Lamb with Potatoes. This traditional dish is transformed into a mouthwatering experience you won’t forget.

Preparation Time: Approximately 1 hour for marination and preparation, plus 3 hours for cooking.

Ingredients (for four people)

For the Lamb:

  • 1 kg lamb leg or shoulder with bone, whole or cut into chunks, with bone
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp red smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried savory (devessil)
  • 400 ml beer

For the Potatoes:

  • 1 kg potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp red smoked paprika

Additional:

  • 250 ml chicken or vegetable broth

Method to Prepare the Lamb

Marinating the Lamb

  1. Add olive oil, black pepper, red smoked paprika, salt, and savory in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add minced garlic and mix well.
  3. Coat the lamb chunks thoroughly in this marinade. Cover and let it sit for at least 1 hour.

Oven Preparation and Initial Cooking

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (356°F).
  2. Place the marinated lamb chunks in a baking dish.
  3. Pour beer over the meat.
  4. Cover the dish with aluminum foil.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes at 180°C (356°F), then reduce temperature to 160°C (320°F) and cook for an additional 2 hours.

Preparing Potatoes and Final Baking

  1. Peel and slice the potatoes.
  2. Remove the baking dish from the oven and discard the foil.
  3. Arrange the potato slices around the meat.
  4. Season them with salt, black pepper, and a dash of red smoked paprika.
  5. Mix potatoes in the drippings from the lamb.
  6. Pour broth over the dish.
  7. Increase the oven temperature back to 180°C (356°F) and bake for an additional 30-40 minutes.

Tips and Tricks

  • Use fresh, high-quality lamb for best results.
  • For a deeper flavor, consider marinating the lamb overnight.

Alternative Preparation Suggestions

  • For a spicier version, add some chili flakes to the marinade.
  • Fresh rosemary can be added for an herbal touch.
  • Adding butter will diminish the typical lamb taste.

Storage Suggestions

  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Interesting Facts about This Recipe

  • Lamb has been a Bulgarian culinary staple for centuries, often served during celebrations.
  • The savory, or “devessil,” is a distinctively Bulgarian herb that elevates this dish to gourmet status.
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