Sanunat Bamiyah: Temani Lamb and Okra

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    1/2 lb. lamb stew meat

    1/2 lb. Beef neck bones, roasted

    (Boil the meat and bones in plenty of water until tender, with quartered onions, bouquet garni (leek, thyme, parsley, peppercorns, bay leaves) in cheesecloth), carrots, celery, and a little hawaij to make a broth; do not discard this broth).

    For the okra:

    1 large sweet onion, chopped

    5 cloves chopped garlic

    4 large tomatoes, roasted, peeled and pureed (Strain if the skins and seeds bother you)

    1 lb. fresh okra, washed and ends removed

    salt and pepper and sugar to taste (the sugar offsets the bitterness in the tomatoes)

    Hawaij for soup (I use Pereg brand; about 1/2 tsp. should suffice, as this is very strong).

    2 heaping tbsp. tomato paste

    4 tbsp. EVOO

    In a separate pot, heat the oil and brown your lamb cubes. Set them aside. To the meat browned bits, add onions, garlic, tomato paste, tomato puree, spices, and okra. Allow this to cook down until the tomato paste turns a rich, dark color (About 10 minutes on medium heat). Deglaze the pan with the lamb/beef broth (the neck bones make a tasty snack), bring to the boil, reduce to a gentile simmer, and allow to cook uncovered for about 30 minutes on low-medium.

    The lamb should be tender, the okra fully cooked, and the sauce well-seasoned and rich-tasting.

    I served this with mujaddara on the side, and some nice fluffy salouf (Temani flatbread). Dessert was Temani coffee with hawaij for coffee, with some fresh sliced watermelon and parve baklava.

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