Albanian baked lamb & rice

Albanian baked lamb & rice

By
From
Posh Rice
Serves
4
Prep
120 mins

Tender lamb and rice with oregano, baked under a veil of garlicky yoghurt – this is the national dish of Albania and, although it may sound unusual, it is truly delicious.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
700g boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 4–5cm pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus a little extra
2 teaspoons dried oregano, plus a little extra
75g long-grain rice
handful mint leaves
salt
freshly ground black pepper
lettuce and tomato salad, to serve

For the topping

Quantity Ingredient
25g butter
3 garlic cloves, crushed
25g plain flour
350g greek yoghurt
3 eggs, beaten
freshly grated nutmeg

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Season the lamb. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a high heat and brown the lamb really well in batches for 6–8 minutes. Tip the contents of the frying pan into a snug baking dish, pour over 300ml boiling water, cover tightly with foil and braise in the oven for 1 hour, or until tender. Remove the foil and pour the lamb cooking liquid into a measuring jug – you should have about 330ml (top up with water if needed).
  2. Once the lamb is cooked, make the topping. Melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the garlic and stir for a few moments. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in 180ml of the lamb cooking liquid and bubble for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the yoghurt, eggs, nutmeg and some seasoning. Return to the heat and warm through.
  3. Stir the oregano and rice into the lamb and pour over the remaining cooking liquid. Spoon the sauce over the top and sprinkle with extra oregano. Drizzle with a little oil, grind over some black pepper and bake for 30 – 40 minutes until golden and set. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then scatter over the mint. Serve with a lettuce and tomato salad.
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