This aromatic rice dish is a tasty representative of the many cultures that make up the Balkans, the southeastern area of Europe. Many ancient cultures have settled and re-settled this region which gives rise to a diverse set of languages and culinary fare. Lamb, raisins and pine nuts come together harmoniously in this savory but slightly fruity rice dish.
Yay for us! This dish is also easy with easy to find ingredients. The recipe is adapted from a vintage cookbook called Encyclopedia of World Cookery. I omitted the liver as Mr. Craftiness wouldn’t approve and swapped raisins for currants as I couldn’t find any at my local grocer. An interesting note, some old cookbooks lack details like baking temps and “1/2 tsp of mixed spice”. There is some guesswork which is part of the fun.
- 2.5 cups white rice
- 8 oz lamb, cut into 1/4 inch cubes or ground lamb
- 5 cups broth, your choice
- 4 oz bacon fat or other rendered fat of choice
- 1 white onion, diced
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 1 tsp black pepper
- salt to taste (You may not need any if your broth is salty)
- 1/2 cup of raisins or currants
- 2 oz pine nuts
- 1 tsp parsley, chopped
- 1 tsp sage, chopped
- In large pot over medium-high heat melt fat, fry lamb until cooked through, set aside in small bowl. Add onion to pot and cook onion until soft. Add nuts and rice and cook for about 5 minutes stirring frequently. Add salt, pepper, raisins, tomato and broth. Lower heat to low, cover and cook 20 minutes. Add parsley, sage and lamb and cover and cook 5 more minutes. Turn off heat and rest for 5 minutes without peeking.