Kapamas - Lamb In Aromatic Tomato Sauce
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 ½ pounds lean lamb preferably leg or shoulder, cut into stewing cubes
- 2 large white onions peeled and finely chopped
- ¼ cup brandy
- 2 cups peeled seeded, and finely chopped tomatoes (with juice)
- 6 to 8 allspice berries
- 2 medium bay leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- 1 cup dried Greek figs
- 1 cup green or black Greek olives rinsed
For the rice:
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 2 ½ cups water
- 1 large pinch saffron (Greek krokos Kozanis)
- Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon butter
- In a large heavy stewing pot, heat olive oil and cook lamb, turning it frequently on all sides to brown evenly and lightly. Add the onion and sauté, stirring with a wooden spoon, until wilted.
- “Extinguish” the pot, as the Greeks say -- deglaze, in other words -- with the brandy by pouring it into the pot. Add the tomatoes, allspice, bay leaves, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Stir well with a wooden spoon to blend. Add, if necessary, enough water just to cover the meat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 1 hour 15 minutes, or until meat is almost cooked. Add more water, if necessary, during cooking to keep mixture moist and sauce from reducing too much.
- About 10 minutes before meat is done, Adjust seasoning if necessary, and stir in the parsley just before removing from heat. Serve with saffron rice.
To make saffron rice:
Bring 1 cup basmati or Carolina rice to a boil in 2 ½ c. salted water. Add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 large pinch of saffron. Cover and simmer for about 12 - 15 minutes, or until the rice is cooked and has absorbed all the water. Let it continue to steam in the pot for five minutes, with heat turned off. Fluff with a fork and serve.
Variation: chicken, beef and veal may also be prepared as above, kapama style, but omit the grapes. Add, if desired, a bit of hot pepper to the sauce.