ALBANIA: Tavë Kosi

Tavë kosi has developed a reputation as an Albanian national dish, and it’s got the great combo of Mediterranean and Balkan ingredients that really typify Albanian cuisine. It’s a big hearty dish of lamb sauteed with garlic, rice, and oregano, topped with a roux to which you add yogurt, egg, and nutmeg, then bake. I’m using this recipe from Saveur, but most recipes seem pretty consistent.

I got in some giant garlic this week, so I’m guaranteeing this is going to be gloriously garlicky – I’m using the same number of cloves, just from the giant bulbs!

Looks beautiful out of the oven and it’s made my house smell amazing. The meat is falling-apart tender, and the yogurt and eggs have made a tangy, fluffy topping. The rice has kind of melted into the meat layer, but it adds thickness. I’m glad I used a heavy hand with the oregano and nutmeg as well as the garlic, I think I’ll make this again once it’s cold out.

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