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RECIPE OF THE MONTH
Restaurant: Cafe Mangal
Chef: Mehmet Ozargun
1) To Prepare the Lamb Meat:
*A boneless leg of lamb weighs about 7-8 pounds. If you use lamb meat that is already cut you should also use about 7-8 pounds.
Remove the string from around the lamb. Rinse the meat under cold running water and dry with paper towels. Break apart the meat and cut into smaller pieces and skim of most of the fat (80% of it). Cut into 1 inch irregular pieces/cubes. Should yield about 10 cups of cooked meat.
Heat 1/2 cup regular olive oil in a heavy duty pan and sear/brown the 1 inch lamb cubes for a few minutes. Make sure to sprinkle 1 tbsp kosher salt while searing the lamb. Convert into another container and let it sit.
For the onion and tomato sauce:
In a large, heavy pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat, then brown and cook the onions and green pepper until the onions are soft, about 8-10 minutes, stirring. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, water, demi-glace, allspice, and black pepper.
Add the seared lamb (step #1 above) into the sauce and bring to a boil and then simmer for at least an hour!
Check the tenderness of the meat after an hour. The meat should be nice and tender, almost falling apart. If needed give more time and continue to simmer until the meat is nice and tender.
3) For the creamy eggplant béchamel sauce:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise, place on oiled parchment on a baking pan and bake until the skins blisters and the flesh is soft, about 35-40 minutes, remove and cool on the pan. Once they are cool enough to handle, carefully remove the flesh from the skins and transfer the pulp to a strainer for 30 minutes to drain the juices. Transfer to a food processor and process until smooth yet a little chunky. Place in strainer and press out the pulp, this will remove the seeds and bits of skin.
Béchamel for Eggplant Sauce
In a large, heavy pot, melt the butter over medium heat.
Then stir in the flour to make a roux and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring continuously.
Keep the pot on the heat and whisk in the hot milk slowly until a thick white sauce without lumps has formed.
Reduce heat to low, season with S&P mix, black pepper and simmer slowly for 10 minutes.
Stir in the pureed eggplant, lemon juice, the cheese, 2 tbsp butter and beat well until smooth, cook very slowly for 2-3 minutes.
4) Hunkar’s Choice Presentation:
Place 6 ounces of Eggplant Béchamel Sauce at the bottom of the casserole then spoon the hot lamb and sauce into the center, and heat in the oven for 4-5 minutes at 375. Sprinkle it with chopped parsley and serve with a side of rice pilaf.