Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Tavë Kosi
(Baked Lamb with Yogurt Sauce)

I made this dish Wednesday, June 24 for Andy and me. Of the international dishes that I have cooked this summer (all three so far), this was my least favorite. Andy said that he liked it, except for the fattiness of the lamb, but he may have just been stroking my ego, as I am an anal-retentive, overly sensitive perfectionist at times. I was not impressed by this dish. It was very simple to prepare, but I felt that the end product left something to be desired. Some things to consider/change if you decide to make this dish:
*Trim the lamb! It was very fatty, and took away from the dish as a whole.
*Use more than 2 tablespoons of rice. I thought that this amount seemed really small, and I feel that thinking was correct. It wasn't enough to make a consistent texture, just enough to pop up in every few bites and make the texture weird. If I were to make this recipe again, I would use 1/4-1/2 cup of rice.
*The yogurt sauce is very rich, and there was too much of it; the lamb to yogurt sauce ratio was off. I might halve the yogurt sauce component.

Here is my slightly clarified version of the original recipe:

Albanian Tavë Kosi

-1 1/2 lb. lamb (shoulder or leg)
-4 T. butter
-2 T. basmati rice
-salt, pepper
-1 T. flour
-4 T. butter
-2 lb. yogurt
-5 eggs
-salt, pepper

1) Cut meat into four serving pieces. Sprinkle each piece with salt and pepper.
2) Bake at 350 degrees with 4 T. butter, sprinkling the meat with its gravy every now and then. After 40 minutes, add rice to pan juices. Remove baking pan from oven and leave aside while yogurt sauce is prepared.
3) Sauté flour in butter until mixed thoroughly. Mix yogurt with salt, pepper and eggs until a uniform mixture is obtained. Stir in the flour mixture.
4) Put yogurt sauce mixture in the baking pan; stir it with the meat pieces and bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes. Serve hot.

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