Gouvaj (Lamb, vegetable casserole)

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Gouvaj (Lamb/Vegetable Casserole

Serves 6

Ingredients:


2 lbs. lamb neck bones, or 1 lb. lamb stew (shoulder is a good choice)

2 lbs. string beans, trimmed and halved, lengthwise (or two 14.5 oz cans of pre-cut French style green beans)

2 lbs. (or 4 medium size) zucchini squash, cut into 1 inch slices

1 lb. fresh baby okra (or 1 lb bag, defrosted), soaked in vinegar for at least 1/2 hour, then rinsed well with water

5 large Italian green peppers, trimmed and coarsely chopped into strips

1 large onion, halved and sliced into crescents

2 28oz cans of stewed plum tomatoes, halved

1 bunch whole parsley, de-stemmed

8 cloves garlic, whole

1 6 oz. can of tomato paste, diluted with 4 cups water

1 tbsp. salt

¼ tsp. black pepper

¼ tsp. red pepper


Directions:


1. Place meat in an uncovered saucepan filled with water. Keep on a medium boil, adding water as needed and until the meat falls off the bone. Then discard the bones.

2. Place string beans, squash, okra, peppers, tomatoes, onion, parsley, garlic and salt into a roasting pan. Add the meat on top.

3. Pour diluted tomato paste over all, and sprinkle with black and red pepper

4. Bake covered for 1 hour in an oven heated to 350ºF.

5. Remove from oven, stir meat and vegetables, and bake uncovered for 2 hours more.

Serve with crusty bread or bulghur pilaf.