This Traditional Lamb and Okra Stew is an Egyptian Favourite, when you make it you'll understand why.
Ingredients: For the Okra Stew
2lb [900g] lamb [beef may be substituted]
1½lb [700g] okra
2¾ cups of red wine vinegar
1 cup tomatoes
3 Tbsp tomato paste
2 cloves garlic
6½ Tbsp; [100cc] butter
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 cup water
2 Tbsp fresh mint
salt and freshly ground black pepper
juice of 1 lemon
To Make The Okra Stew
Top and tail the Okra using a sharp knife. Then place the Okra in a glass or ceramic bowl to which you have added the ¾ cup of red wine vinegar.
Do not use a metal bowl as the wine may react with it... Then your okra stew will taste like metal stew... Ugh! }
Let stand for about a ½ hour.
Drain, rinse & dry the Okra [This technique helps remove the sliminess when the Okra is cooked.] Reserve.
Preheat oven to 325o
Cut the Lamb [or beef] into 1inch [2½cm] cubes
Peel, seed and chop the tomatoes
Mince the garlic cloves
Chop the onions finely
Chop the mint
Warm the butter in a large frying pan [skillet] over medium heat [reserving the ½ Tbsp]
Add the lamb and fry, turning untill browned on all sides [You will have to brown the meat in batches for satisfactory results] This will take approximately 10 to 11 minutes for each batch of meat
Using a slotted spoon transfer the meat to a casserole dish.
Add the onions to the melted butter remaining in the frying pan, [if there isn't any left you will have to add a little]
Sautée the onions over medium heat until they are translucent and tender, this should take between 8 and 10 minutes
Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, onions, cumin, water and mint.
Stir this mixture to ensure all ingredients are combined, then pour over the lamb in the casserole dish
Add the salt and pepper to taste.
Cover the casserole dish, place in the oven and bake for about 1½ hours until all the liquid has been absorbed
Sauté the okra for 3 minutes, over medium heat in the ½ tbsp of butter which had been melted and warmed in the frying pan before adding the okra.
You should be stirring gently while doing this
Remove the stew from the oven. taste and add more salt or pepper or both, if required
Arrange the okra on top of the stew like the spokes of a wheel.
Sprinkle the lemon juice over the top of the stew
Replace the cover on the casserole dish and return the Okra Stew to the oven
Bake for 35 minutes, adding water if the stew appears to be too dry.
The OKRA STEW should be served immediately, as hot as possible
The Africhef website contains a number of Okra Recipes, selected to show off the versatility of this often neglected vegetable. Click on the Okra section of the menu and select those you'd like to see....