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Albanian Baked Lamb and Yogurt: Tavë Kosi

What's the big idea?

Sandwiched as Albania is, between Greece and the former Yugoslavian states of Macedonia, Kosovo and Montenegro, it should come as no surprise that the nation's cuisine reflects influences from its neighbours. When I discovered this recipe, which is one of Albania's best known, it made me think straight away of both Greece and Bulgaria (which is also not a million miles away). It is basically lamb pieces baked in a yoghurt and egg sauce.

Serve with potatoes and green vegetables of your choice.

Shopping List

Here's the list of what you need:

  • 700g lamb, cut into 1½ inch cubes
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • Salt, pepper
  • 2 tablespoons rice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1kg natural yogurt
  • 5 eggs, beaten

What To Do

  • Melt half the butter in a frying pan
  • Season the meat well with salt and pepper, and fry until just browned all over
  • With a slotted spoon, remove the meat from the pan and place in the bottom of a baking dish
  • Add the garlic and rice to the pan, and stir-fry for 5 minutes. Add to the baking dish
  • Add the remaining butter to the pan, heat until it melts, and then stir in the flour
  • Remove from the heat, and gradually stir in the yoghurt, salt, pepper and eggs until a smooth sauce is formed
  • Pour the sauce over the contents of the the baking dish
  • Bake at 375F/190C for about 45 minutes

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