Date Night Recipe: Slow-Roasted Turkish Lamb Stew

When my boyfriend and I first started dating, he invited me over for a home cooked meal. However, living in New York City, my expectations for home cooking on a date were limited. Would he make macaroni or spaghetti? But when he told me the menu involved a dish he learned from his mom in Turkey, I prepared for some seriously delicious food.

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After reading my blog posts over the past year, my boyfriend wanted to contribute one of his specialties. This simple and flavorful dish is typical of home cooked meals in Turkey that aren't served in restaurants. It's a dish to be cooked with love and enjoyed with family and friends.

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When we cooked this together I was surprised at how these simple ingredients come together. And, just how well plain Greek yogurt complements the meal. I know, it seems odd. Try swirling some in and you'll be hooked as I am.

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Slow-Roasted Turkish Lamb Stew with Green Beans
serves 2 with leftovers

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 pound lamb stew meat (you can also use beef stew cuts like chuck)
2 cups chopped green beans
3 small tomatoes, chopped (about 2 cups)
2 cups cooked rice
1 cup Greek yogurt

Heat oil in a heavy bottom pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft but not browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Cut lamb into slightly larger than bite size pieces and trim excess fat. Add lamb to onions, season with salt and pepper, and brown on all sides, stirring and turning pieces as necessary.

Cover pot, reduce heat to medium low and cook for 15 minutes. Add green beans and cook for an additional hour. Add tomatoes and cook 20 minutes more. Lamb should be tender, not tough, when pierced with a fork.

Serve hot over rice with a spoonful (or several, if you're Turkish) of yogurt on top.

Related: Behold the Simit: A Very Crusty Turkish Bread

(Images: Stephanie Barlow)

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