Abgushte lubia ghermez

Abgushte lubia ghermez

Lamb and bean stew

By
From
The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Serves
6
Photographer
Alan Benson

The literal translation of abgusht is ‘the water of the meat’. In Persian cookery, this can be a substantial soup or a stew. In fact, what might begin as a stew may end up as a soup if unexpected guests arrive. Then again, it may serve as two courses from the one pan, with the flavoursome liquid ladled into bowls and served as soup, leaving enough liquid in the saucepan for the remainder to be served as a moist stew.

The essence is in the long slow cooking. Though my cooking times are considerably shorter than those in Iran, I have taken into account the nature of the ingredients available to the Western cook. Our lamb and beef are considerably more tender, dried beans and fruit take less time to cook than in the past — and we usually tend to hurry things up considerably.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
210g dried red kidney beans
60g ghee or butter
1.5kg lamb shoulder on the bone, chopped into 6 pieces
or 6 lamb foreshanks, cracked
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
125ml tomato passata
1 Loomi
or 1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method

  1. Wash the kidney beans well and place them in a saucepan with 750 ml water. Bring to the boil and leave to boil for 2 minutes. Cover and leave off the heat for 30 minutes, or until the beans are plump.
  2. Heat half the ghee or butter in a deep, heavy-based saucepan and brown the meat on all sides. Remove each batch to a plate.
  3. Heat the remaining ghee in the pan and gently fry the onion until translucent. Stir in the turmeric and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Return the lamb to the pan and add the beans and their soaking liquid and the passata. If using a dried lime, pierce it twice with a skewer, then add to the stew. Alternatively, add the lemon juice. Pour in another 500 ml water and bring to the boil.
  5. Cover and simmer over low heat for 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper and cook for a further 1 hour, or until the meat and beans are tender. Remove the dried lime, if used.
  6. Serve in deep plates, with a piece of lamb in each. Pickles, fresh herbs, chopped onion, radishes and flat bread should be served as accompaniments.

Note

  • If you are using a slow cooker, instead of returning the lamb to the pan with the onion and turmeric, place all the ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for 9–10 hours, or on high for 5–6 hours. Use a little less water and add more only if necessary, as less liquid evaporates when using this appliance.
Tags:
The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Tess
Mallos
Middle Eastern
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