Around the world in 80 Chulents: Uzbekistan!

The book 'Cooking from Memory' is an enjoyable, nostalgic and surprising recipe book which asks Jewish women from all over the world to share their recipes, brining together recipes from Scotland toVietnam.

The one I have enjoyed and repeated most is what we will be having for shabbat lunch tomorrow: Uzbek chulent in a bag - Oshi Sabo. The first time we made it I was terrified of what would appear as it's not a way I'd cooked before, but it came out brilliantly! I have found I need to be fairly careful about amounts in this recipe, and haven't had as good a result when just guessing measurements. This week, for the first time, I'll be trying to make it at 50% the given recipe which I've not done before, however the full version (here) feeds at least 10 people and sometimes you just don't need that much chulent!

500g (1 lb) brown rice, washed
1kg (2 lb) lamb leg, finely chopped
1.5 onions, finely chopped
200g (7 oz) sultanas
2 carrots, finely chopped
4 granny smith apples, peeled and finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
50 ml (1.5 oz) olive oil

- Mix all the ingredients thoroughly in a large bowl.
- Place the mixture in an oven bag (buy the biggest one you can find!) making sure it is tightly packed.
- Put the oven bag into a muslin or cloth bag, and tie with string (I use a potato storage bag from Lakeland with a string and toggle top).
- Place the bag into a large saucepan filled with water to cover. Bring to the boil then simmer on a low heat for 16 hours (we put it on a blech at 2 of 6 on our electric hob). The recipe suggests topping up the water as necessary but this is a problem on shabbat so we weight the lid of the pan down with a heavy le creuset pot to reduce evaporation and it works fine.
- When ready, empty the contents into a large bowl and mix well, serving hot!

Shabbat Shalom!


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