This dish should be eaten hot, with hot pepper and drunk with local red wine.
A dish as popular as sacrifices, in Bessarabia has several varieties. And they don’t even differ in nuances: they are completely different dishes. Yes, it can be a transparent soup, and meat like hot kavarma, and some analogy of a boiler-shaped pilaf with rice, bulgur and pieces of lamb. So why do all these radically different dishes have the same name: “sacrifice”?
And it is that Bessarabia, in one way or another, had close ties with the East and its traditions, and the roots of some peoples who live there today go back a long way to Asia. In Islam, there is this holiday: “Eid al-Adha”, which can be translated as “sacrifice festival”. The history of this religious holiday is very symbolic, but its essence is that on this day a lamb is sacrificed. This is how it was established in Bessarabia: if a lamb is prepared, and especially on a public holiday, such as St. George’s Day, May 6, a sacrifice is prepared.
But why are our sacrificial recipes different and how do they relate? Firstly, it is a dish of lamb or adult lamb, and secondly, it is often a dish cooked in a cauldron. Now everything falls into place, and it is logical to see both the sacrifice in the form of transparent soup and shurpa and the sacrifice in the form of pilaf with bulgur. Therefore, not to be confused, the locals call these dishes kurban-soup or kurban-chorba in the first case, and kurban-burgur – in the second.
I will talk about how my Bessarabian friends taught me how to cook a transparent sacrifice or a sacrificial soup. To do this, we need the following ingredients:
- 3 kg of lamb (chest, cane, neck)
- 6-8 potatoes
- 2-3 carrots
- 4-5 heads of white onion
- 1 celery root
- 2 teaspoons. merudia
- 1 teaspoon. salad
- 1 teaspoon. mint gum
- salt pepper
- fresh herbs (coriander, parsley, mint)
- homemade white bread
- a mixture of “bright salt” spices, or paprika, myrrh and salt
The meat must be prepared. As mentioned in the ingredients, it is best to use young lamb less than one year old for this dish, and it is better to choose less “premium” parts: those with more connective tissue, bones and cartilage. After all, it is collagen, and from it comes the fat from which the lips join.
Divide the meat into medium-sized pieces, pour cold water in a ratio of 1 to 3. If it is 3 kg of meat, you need 9 liters of water. Then cook a good broth: remove the foam, keep a close eye on the fire so that it does not boil and the broth in no case gets bored. Be sure to salt and add spices.
About an hour and a half or two after a light broth and boiling “bubble” will be quite saturated. It’s time to add vegetables – whole potatoes and onions, and the carrots and celery can be cut into three-inch chunks. It remains to cook for no more than an hour until the vegetables are ready and the meat begins to separate from the bones. Taste it: it must be a clear liquid saturated with the aroma of spices: mint and salty. If it still sticks and your lips stick after the test, it’s time to move on.
To serve. If you want to serve it in portions, it is advisable to spread a whole potato and several pieces of carrot and celery on the plates. Of course, be sure to add a piece of boiled meat and fill it all with clear broth. Sprinkle with chopped vegetables and serve dry bread, sprinkled with a mixture of “bright salt” spices. It is an analogue of the Bulgarian spice “colored salt”, a mixture of salt with red pepper, myrrh and sometimes ground hot pepper.
This dish should be eaten hot, with hot pepper and drunk with local red wine. It is also very effective to serve meat with vegetables in a common dish in the center of the table, and to give each dining room a broth in a cup. But it depends on the format and the mood.
In my opinion, the perfect rich sacrifice is achieved if the following three parts of the lamb are used: edge, chest and neck. And always with bones, tendons and cartilage.
If you’re lucky and the lamb was with telbukhs, sacrificing them will be twice as tasty. Feel free to add lungs or kidneys – they give character to the dish. But there is a separate dish of telbukh: tripe soup. I will not describe its recipe, but believe me, it is very tasty, especially with Bulgarian mint gum, hot pepper and fresh coriander.
Andriy Velychko – one of the few chefs in Ukraine who received a culinary education at the Paul Bocuse Institute, the creator of the “new French cuisine.” On his Facebook page share with recipes interesting recipes and cooking secrets.
Find more recipes in the “Cooking” section.