Lamb confit (Awarma)
May 18, 2012 • Category: Main Dish
Awarma is the word used to indicate bits of lamb preserved in lamb fat; it is usually prepared in rural areas and the jars are used up throughout the year to flavor one dish or another; the fat used is from the lamb tail and that variety of lamb (fat-tailed sheep) is not raised in the US or Canada.
A traditional breakfast is eggs in awarma baked in a clay skillet. The equivalent of the Anglo-Saxon eggs and bacon, except the fat here is lamb fat. Awarma is also used as part of the stuffing for kibbeh. A tablespoon of awarma adds meat flavor to a stew or pilaf, even if no meat is used. It is nice to have on hand for last-minute cooking.
The recipe is courtesy of Rabih, a young meat-cutter in Beirut.
- 1 pound of lean lamb ground (habra)
- 1 pound of lamb fat, ground
- 1 tbsp of salt, 1 tsp of allspice or seven-spice
- Melt the lamb fat over very low heat in a deep pot. Sprinkle the meat with spices and add to the pot. Let the lamb cook in its own fat for 45 minutes over very low heat, adding salt to it halfway, stirring it constantly and watching so that the meat does not burn. Transfer the mixture to a sterilized jar and store in the fridge for a few weeks.
22 Comments • Comments Feed
Belinda @zomppa says:
I have never tried this – how interesting! I don’t think I can easily find it here though….
On May 18, 2012 at 4:40 am
That must be mighty scrumptious!
On May 18, 2012 at 8:42 am
Mark Wisecarver says:
You took some bold steps in posting this one. 🙂
Little note, Sito used to specify that the meat used with this was ground very fine, passed three times at least. Love these old notes by the way. Memories. 🙂
On May 18, 2012 at 9:47 am
@Mark. I was discussing it with Rabih (the nice butcher) today; he told me some people like to keep it in small chunks but he prefers it ground fine, like your Sito! Your comments are so “right on” (sorry can’t think of a better word!)
On May 18, 2012 at 12:07 pm
Every country has their favorite fat for cooking. I enjoyed reading about this one!
On May 18, 2012 at 8:13 pm
My grandmother always had this in her fridge…I have never made it, but boy would I love to find it in a jar! Thanks for posting a recipe!
On May 19, 2012 at 6:07 am
Christine @ Fresh says:
I imagine that awarma would come in handy for flavoring many dishes. It strikes me as a versatile ingredient.
On May 19, 2012 at 2:45 pm
No doubt the lamb flavor is concentrated which means it adds great flavor to dishes. Love it.
On May 19, 2012 at 4:41 pm
Alicia (Foodycat) says:
Duck confit and rillettes keeps beautifully in the freezer, so I would imagine this does too. Seems a shame to make it in small quantities! It sounds delicious (I am cooking lamb for dinner, so the house is full of that smell and I can totally imagine what your awarma brings to a dish).
On May 20, 2012 at 10:31 am
Purabi Naha says:
This looks so full of flavours…have never made this myself. Love lamb in any form and yours look superb!!
On May 21, 2012 at 2:14 am
un petit gout d’agneau ça doit etre délicieux dans les oeufs !!
bizz parisienne ici c’est le déluge et l’hiver est revenu Y’en a marre du mauvais temps !!pierre
On May 21, 2012 at 11:44 pm
Nuts about food says:
Lamb is may favorite meat and love the fat too. I can only imagine how good this must be… the eggs made with it sound delicious.
On May 31, 2012 at 4:44 am
quel plaisir de découvrir cette recette chez toi!
ma grand mère en faisait et appelait ça khli3 azir, parce que la viande confite était conservée dans un zir c’est à dire un pot en terre cuite. la viande, après avoir longuement cuit avec la graisse, jusqu’à ce qu’il n’y ai plus aucune trace d’eau , est mise dans un pot en terre et entièrement recouverte d’huile d’olive qui assurait sa conservation. il faut croire que c’était efficace vu l’absence de frigo à l’époque!!
merci Joumana! tu m’as donné l’envie d’en préparer! bises!
On August 8, 2012 at 11:55 am
@Kouky: je suis très heureuse d’apprendre que ces coutumes sont partagées entre le Maghreb et le Mashreq~surtout par le biais de ta gran-mère!
On August 8, 2012 at 2:24 pm
I can imagine how it’s delightfully – sandwich with chiabatta and awarma! M-m-m…..
Joumana, now twice a week a have a new jar ( something as 500-550g) of “solar-power” jam.
During experiments i found that it’s possible to reduce sugar noticeably to 100g to 650g-700 of fruits (peeled and sliced).. But i store it in fridge.
On August 10, 2012 at 8:48 am
@Elena: Great news!
On August 10, 2012 at 8:53 am
amylou rahal says:
I JUST MADE THIS TODAY…..STILL COOKING! MY MOM ALWAYS HAD THIS AT OUR HOUSE WHEN MY BROTHERS &I WERE GROWING UP…..A REAL TREAT! THE HARDEST PART IS GETTING THE MEAT & FAT SEPERATED FROM A WHOLE LEG OF LAMB! HOPE IT TASTES LIKE MOM’S DID!
On December 20, 2012 at 3:44 pm
Rona Martiyan says:
I lived for a number of years in Turkey and while reading the House of Stone it was mentioned. The food of the region is the best. I remember the lambs with the fat tails!
On May 14, 2013 at 6:54 pm