A mediterranean culture that mainly relies on whole-grains and vegetables is going to take full advantage of the special day when a lamb is available to feast on; thusly, every part of the animal is cooked in one way or another and intestines are no exception. Here, they are thoroughly cleaned with lemon, coarse salt and vinegar and stuffed with minced meat, rice and spices. This is an exquisite dish and one of the most traditional in Lebanese cuisine. It was cooked by Asma, a Kurdish lady and one of the finest cooks I know. She carefully and methodically cleaned them, rubbing them with coarse salt, lemon, a few tablespoons of flour and a jiggle of vinegar to rid them of any attached fat, inside and out. Then she stuffed them with a mixture of rice (medium-grain or sushi), minced meat, chopped onion and spices. The spices used were allspice, cinnamon, black pepper and salt. The stuffed intestines are placed in a pot and covered with water seasoned with two onions studded with cloves, a few bay leaves and some quartered lemons (or the peel of an orange) as well as some black peppercorns. Cooked at a gentle simmer until the stuffing expands. (The stock is skimmed of any froth showing up at the surface). These are often served under a layer of stuffed zucchinis. If cooked alone, they are served with their broth and some yogurt or a teaspoon of mashed garlic mixed with a teaspoon of dried mint.
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