This is really nice Middle Eastern dish not from one particular country. It looks very nice presented. The taste develops more over time so make the dish up to a day in advance for best flavour. If you can not find a tool made especially for coring vegetables an apple corer will work just as well. I used a knife but just be careful the direction you cut if you do so. If there is leftover meat mixture you can use it to make Hashwa which is equally as good all on its own or just eat it up as I like to do! Modified from a recipe on http://www.yasalamcooking.com.
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons butter
- 1 lb ground lamb (I use lean ground beef adding olive oil if I feel more fat is needed)
- 1⁄2 tablespoon baharat, spice mix
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- sea salt, to taste
- fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 1⁄4 cup pine nuts
- 10 medium yellow potatoes (for best flavour, you can use white)
- 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce (If you want more sauce add more but we like to serve it with Balkan thick yogurt)
- 1 cup chicken stock (I use my own homemade)
- balkan yogurt, to serve
- In a pan over medium heat cook the onions in butter until almost soft and then add the ground lamb or beef. Cook until it is no longer pink, drain any remaining fat.
- Add the the baharat, tomato paste, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and pine nuts. Mix well and cook until the pine nuts turn golden.
- Wash and peel the potatoes. Carefully core out the middle leaving a smaller whole at the top but taking out most of the middle so there is just enough potato to hold it all together. Set aside.
- Carefully fill the potatoes with the meat mixture. Stuff until the top but not extremely tightly. In a pan on medium heat add the tomato sauce and chicken stock. Carefully place the potatoes into the pan and cover. Raise heat to come to a full boil and then reduce to medium-low. Cook for 1 hour or more until tender when pricked with a fork, carefully switching sides half way through.
- You may serve this over white Basmati rice, with a fresh salad and Balkan (thick) yogurt on the side if you don't add extra sauce.
I made a half recipe of this for our dinner using 4 very large yellow potatoes. It was good, but I wish I had made a full recipe of the sauce as it was a bit on the dry side. I added some garlic into the meat mixture and a bit more than half of the baharat. I really wanted to throw some fresh parsley into the meat mix too, but controlled myself and just sprinkled a little over to finish. In our opinion, the yoghurt was absolutely necessary as it added a bit more moistness to the dish. The recipe was a little hard to follow with ingredients not listed in the order used in the instructions. I would definately make this again though using more sauce and the other couple of small modifications. I suspect I made these "wrong" not hollowing them out the right way, but I did my best with a knife and a spoon and the flavour was still great.