Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Bamya (meat and Okra Stew)

Last weekend Na had an event called Egypt Unwrapped. This was the end of year party for GT. She got to dress up like an Egyptian. We were supposed to make her costume but everything was too crazy around the house so I ended up making it by clicking "buy" on EBay. As part of the event the children were supposed to research Egyptian food and either create their very own recipe or find one they liked and bring it to the event to share for dinner. We found the recipe for Bamya and decided it was the winner. I think only 2 spoon fulls were taken at the event. The Okra on the top must have scared the kids off. My family however loved it. The recipe says to serve with rice but I decided to mix the rice in to make it easier to serve at the event. So, here is the recipe.

Bamya (Meat and Okra Stew)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
2 pounds (1 kg) stewing lamb or beef, cut into 1 in cubes
2 onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 cup (6 ounces /185 g) peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup stock (beef) or water, or as needed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint (optional)
salt and freshly ground pepper
1-1 1/2 pound (500-750 g) okra
Juice of 1 lemon

Preheat an oven to 325° F (165 C).
Heat 4 tablespoons butter or oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Working in small batches, brown meat, turning constantly, until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a baking dish or stew pot.
Over medium heat, sauté onions in fat remaining in frying pan until translucent, 8-10 minutes Add garlic, cumin, coriander, tomatoes, tomato paste, stock and optional mint. Stir well.
Pour over meat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover tightly and bake in preheated 325° until all liquid is absorbed, about 1 1/2 hours.
Taste and adjust the seasonings. Meanwhile, prepare the okra as directed in note below. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons butter or oil in skillet. Stir in okra. Sauté for 3 minutes, stirring gently.
When meat is finished, arrange cooked okra on top in a spoke pattern. Sprinkle lemon juice evenly over the surface. Re-cover the dish and return it to the oven. Bake for 35 minutes longer. Add stock or water if the mixture seems too dry. Serve very hot.
Serve with rice.

Tips: To cook okra so that it is not slimy, cut off the conical tip ,and soak in red wine-vinegar for 30 minutes, allowing 1/2 cup vinegar per pound. Drain, rinse and dry the okra and proceed with the recipe. Another method is to trim the tips, then put into water at a rapid boil for 2 minutes. Remove and rinse with very cold water, drain and pat dry.

I'm sure there is going to be a way to prepare this dish in the crock pot. I might need to experiment with that. I did cook it in the stoneware from my crock pot and used tin foil to cover it since my lid was not oven safe. Our favorite way to eat the left overs was warmed up and rolled in tortillas with salsa. I think the next time I'm going to slice the okra up and mix it into the stew as well.

1 comment:

  1. I think I have a picture of me in 6th grade looking exactly like that. I love it!
    So pretty!


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