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Delicious Sultans

Hunker down for some great winter food in the form of this Turkish treat called Hünkar Beğendi, or Sultan's delight. This recipes is from Lins Food.

Prep time: 30 mins

Cooking time: 1 hour

Makes: 3 portions

Ingredients Lamb:

450g leg of lamb

1 tbsp flour

1/2 tsp chilli powder

1 1/2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp sugar

1 onion

1 green pepper

2 cloves garlic

2 tomatoes

1 tbsp tomato paste, or 3 sundried tomatoes

1/2tsp dried oregano

250ml chicken stock

Ingredients Aubergine:

2 medium aubergines

1 1/2 tbsp butter

1 1/2 tbsp flour

250ml milk

15g parmesan

15g cheddar

fresh parsley chopped

1. Title of section

Heat your grill to the highest setting girrrlll. Once its hot like your girlfriend (don't you wish) then place the two aubergines underneath. Cook them good and proper for around 20 minutes, flipping occassionally, until they charred on the outside and the skin is starting to split. Once done, leave to cool on the side.

Whilst the aubergine is cooking, un-pull that wool from your eyes, and get started with the lamb. In a large bowl toss the 450g of lamb chunks with 1tbsp flour, 1/2tsp chilli powder, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Take stock for a second and boil your kettle for the stock later. Meanwhile, heat 1 1/2 tbsp oil in a large saucepan. Once this is hot hot, add the lamb in its floury jacket. Add 1/2 tsp sugar and cook for 5 minutes, turning frequently.

Meanwhile, dice your onion and add to the pan once the lamb has cooked, cook for a further 2 minutes. Chop your 2 tomatoes and the 1 lonesome green pepper, no one wanted him before, but he's about to get a juicy makeover, then everyone will want them. Add the pepper to the lamion with 2 cloves of grated garlic.

Add in 1tbsp tomato puree and the diced tomatoes along with 1/2tsp oregano. Stir thoroughly.

Add 250ml chicken stock and stir through. Cover and turn your hob down to the lowest heat. Leave to simmer for at least an hour and up to an hour and a half.

2. Time to begen the beğendi

Scrape out the pulp of your now cool aubergines and place in a blender. Blend till smooth as a baby's bottom - hands off that baby ma'am.

Time for the white sauce. Melt 1 1/2 tbsp butter in a large-ish saucepan, once liquid add in 1 1/2tbsp flour, stir together until the butter and the flour create a ball.

Then gradually add 250ml milk. Whisk for 5 minutes until it has thickened.

Take off the heat and add in 15g of grated parmesan and 15g grated cheddar. Stir until melted and then add in the aubergine puree. Add salt and pepper to season. Chop a small handful of parsley and add half to the bechamel.

Either divide between plates or serve as a large platter - ladle on the bechamel and then top with the lamb. Serve with a hunky hunk of bread.

Food for Thought

Lizzy says: "I love Turkish food, but I feel like I've relegated myself to the standard mezze specials of hummus etc. so this was a nice departure, and a nice big meal. I love a recipe where you can simply leave a thing to simmer, and do other bits and bobs at the same time, so that it all comes to together quickly at the end - and this recipe ticked that box. The end result was like a cheesy tomatoey hug. However, as the begendi cooled it started to become a bit like baby food, no thank you. Maybe the secret is not to eat it in the depths of an English winter. 8/10"

Kate says: "Neither of us (unfortunately) are sultans, but I can at least say on my behalf that I was suitably delighted by this recipe. It's nice that half of it was doing it's thing while you could prepare the wonderfully creamy and cheesy aubergine puree. That meant it was pretty easy, just a case of whacking everything in a pot to stew. I am also a sucker for green peppers so that addition really delighted me. This does feel like a little bit of a special occasion dish though, very rich and flavoursome 7/10"

7.5/10 Gasps


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