Tag Archives: lamb

Arni Ttavas – oven roast lamb and onions

I bought Cooking from Cyprus in the excellent secondhand bookshop on Clarence road in Hackney, which I used to go to fairly often when I lived  there a few years ago. (It was different then – there was an ASBO on the entire street.) Anyway, genial proprietress Rose sells fiction, poetry, arts, politics, health, lots of childrens books and a small selection of cookery books, with a focus on Black authors

I rather like this book because the author is as excited as hell about the recipes. In an attempt to convey the hospitality of Cyprus, he comes across like someone who’s had a good go at at the grappa and a followed it with a couple of cups of strong καφές. Luckily most of the recipes seem to warrant this level of enthusiasm – well marinated grilled meats (the full gamut of ruminants, poultry, game and swine), several pilau, flat breads and mezze.  Choosing to cook this stew was entirely based on what I already had in the house (and had taken out of my freezer to defrost). Fans of Turkish food will note the word ‘ttavas’ as similar to ‘tava’.

Straight forward to assemble, the only change I made a half portion of the recipe and use tinned, not fresh, tomatoes. The smell while cooking was reminiscent of brown bread. I ended up with 3 portions (by my standards), not sure what that says about my eating habits (um, I like stew.)


Apologies for the blurry photo – low blood sugar and dying batteries meant I only had the chance to wave the camera over the bowl before it conked out/I did.

As you can see, I ate the fruity, savoury stew with some mashed potato and will definitely be adding this dish to my (unwritten) rota of excellent week-night dinners.

Ttavased by Elly

Shepherd’s Pie

So, to kick off my contributions to Pie Month here’s a classic. The recipe is from Good Housekeeping’s Cookery Book (1955):

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Marrakech Meatballs

Another from Josceline Dimbleby’s Cooking with Herbs and Spices – this time savoury:

Says Josceline –

One of my favourite Moroccan dishes is these simple meatballs, which are served with eggs lightly cooked in the same dish at the last moment. The taste when the egg yolk breaks into the spiced meat and juices is quite delicious.

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Lamb Kebabs

This recipe comes from the April chapter of the Reader’s Digest Cookery Year (1976). To be frank, because of their appalling reputation, I was afraid of kebabs until I moved to London and could find them cooked by actual Turkish people. Let’s see how Katie Webber’s recipe measures up! I love that she defines the kebab for those who are innocent of the pleasure of grilled meat on sticks.

Lamb Kebabs

Skewered chunks of meat, or kebabs, are popular in the Middle East. They are usually grilled over a charcoal fire, which imparts a smoky flavour to the meat.

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Kofta Curry

In these straitening times, I decided to increase my repertoire of dishes based around mince, using Beverley Pepper’s Potluck Cookery: Original Cooking with what you have on hand in the Cupboard or Refrigerator (Faber and Faber, 1955). The recipes are grouped around specific leftovers e.g. roast pork or boiled potatoes. There is even a section called ‘Nothing in the house but…’  for when the retail value of the contents of your fridge and cupboards is about 60p. The book belonged to my great-aunt who travelled widely and loved to cook and eat out. The recipes are notable for their generous amounts of seasoning compared to others from this era – Potluck Cookery was first published in 1955.

The recipe which caught my attention was Kofta Curry (because WTF?!**).

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Spicy Lamb Hot Pot


Recipe three is from 500 Recipes for Casserole Dishes by Catherine Kirkpartick (this impression is from 1969). Published by Paul Hamlyn the book is from a series of ‘500 Dishes for..’ books, I also have 500 Recipes for Mixers and Blenders in my collection, and amongst the others published were 500 Recipes for Slimmers,and 500 Recipes for Home-made Wines and Drinks. Both the books I have are somewhat battle-weary, yellowing glue and musty dry pages – these books look like they’ve been well used, and indeed the contents are mainly decent standard recipes – good on their own but also with a lot of potential for improvisation and ingredient substitution – a quality that usually means a book will be referred to often.

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