Gouvaj (Lamb, vegetable casserole)
Gouvaj (Lamb/Vegetable Casserole Serves 6
3 lbs. lamb neck bones, or lamb stew, bone-in (shoulder preferred) 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 1 28oz can 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. ground black pepper ¼ tsp. ground red pepper
1. Place meat in an uncovered saucepan filled with water. Keep on a medium boil until the meat falls off the bone, adding water as it reduces. Discard the bones. 2. Place string beans, squash, okra, peppers, tomatoes, onion, parsley, garlic and salt into a roasting pan. 3. Add meat to the roasting pan. 4. Pour diluted tomato paste over all, and sprinkle with black and red pepper 5. Bake covered for 1 hour in an oven heated to 350º F.. 6. Remove from oven, stir meat and vegetables, and bake uncovered for 2 hours more.
Optional: Use boneless lamb (shoulder preferred) to save on preparation and cooking time.