Creative Cookery



 

SHORBA (LIBYAN-STYLE LAMB STEW WITH GARBANZOS)

Mmmm, mmmm ... the Mennonites' Extending the Table, A World Community Cookbook, strikes again with another fine ethnic recipe, taking advantage of some cheap about-to-expire lamb steaks, some garden produce and some canned goods for tonight's dinner hereabouts.

I made a few changes, naturally, but this recipe is fairly closely based on the original.

In a large saucepan, cook for a few moments over high heat:

    1 medium onion, chopped
    1 large clove garlic, chopped
    dried red pepper flakes to taste

Add:

    3/4 pound lamb shoulder, trimmed of as much fat as possible and cut into small (1/2-inch) cubes.

Sautee until the lamb is browned, then stir in:

    2 fresh tomatoes, skinned, seeded and roughly chopped
    1 tablespoon turmeric
    1 teaspoon cumin
    1/2 teaspoon "five spice"
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 cups water

Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Then add:

    1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed

Simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes, then add:

    1/3 cup soup pasta.

Continue simmering until the pasta is al dente, and serve.

I avoided making it TOO hot, in order to keep it wine-friendly, but it certainly benefits from adding hot sauces at the table.

This one went very nicely indeed with an inexpensive but full-bodied, oaky Spanish red wine.