A little more than a year ago I was in Istanbul enjoying this dish thats so simple to make yet so complex in flavor. We loved this dish so much we came back to the same restaurant and had it twice in two days. Traditionally in Turkey, this dish is moreso made during Eid (one of the holy Holidays for Muslims) as there is a lamb sacrifice. This dish uses lamb fat to really accentuate the flavors of every ingredient and to also not waste any portion of the lamb. If you are not a huge fan of lamb, I still suggest you try this dish. I really was not a fan of lamb before having this dish but I feel it makes it very palatable and completely eliminates the gaminess/earthiness that lamb usually has.
-About 1-1.5 pounds diced lamb or lamb/ beef mix
-1 tablespoon butter
-1 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon black pepper
-1 teaspoon oregano
-1 teaspoon cumin
-1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
-1 large onion or 3 small onions, sliced
-1 sweet pepper, sliced
-2 jalapeños or 2 hot chili peppers of your liking, sliced
-3-4 tomatoes, diced into small/medium sized pieces
1.) Heat a pan on the stove before adding any ingredients. The essence of this dish is to have almost all ingredients cooking in the juices for a long time so preheating the pan is a key step. Use a pan that uses a thinner type metal such as a wok or nonstick. Stay away from cast iron type pans as those are much thicker.
2.) Add in the 1 tablespoon of butter and allow to melt. Do not let it burn.
3.) Add in meat and allow to sauté for 3-5 minutes.
4.) You can now add all your veggies, then spices and stir.
5.) Cook covered for 15 minutes then uncover and cook for another 10-15 minutes or until the juices in the bottom are almost gone.
6.) Serve with rice and/or bread for dipping.
-I do not handle spice very well but I thought the level of spiciness for this dish was fine. If you’d like it spicier, you can keep some of the seeds from the jalapeno or add more red pepper flakes (or even use a spicier pepper than jalapeno.)
-This recipe is the macro friendly/diet version of this dish. The authentic way uses a lot of lamb fat to cook the meat and veggies for as little as half an hour to many hours.
-There are variations to this dish that use differing herbs instead of oregano. It is important to note though that you should not overdo it with spices as the beauty of this dish is the flavors of the veggies and meat come through in every bite.