I have a senior comrade with whom we often organize various culinary events: we wrap dolma in grape leaves together, then we cook pies, then we cook in industrial quantities.
Usually, areas of responsibility are defined quite simply: for meat and other brutal dishes, a friend is responsible, for salads, pastries, and the like.insignificant»Affairs — me. But there was one dish about which we have irreconcilable differences.
it Georgian chakapuli.
The composition of chakapuli is simple and beautiful in summer: young meat, green cherry plum, tarragon, cilantro, dill, parsley, onions, hot green pepper, garlic and white wine.
For me, the list ends here, but my friend has another important ingredient — the rump.
However, the main difference is in the method of preparation.
As my Georgian colleagues, descendants of Kakhetian shepherds, taught me, this is one of the few traditional dishes prepared according to the principle “folded and forgot«. That is, all products fall into the pot or into the pot, put on the fire and left without attention and intervention until ready.
This is very convenient, especially considering that chakapuli is prepared in about an hour, maximum a half.
No, comrade tells me, it’s not at all like that!
You must first melt the fat from the fat tail, fry the onions in it to transparency and the meat to whiten, then add half of the greenery, pour in the wine and stew for about an hour. Then add cherry plum, garlic, hot pepper and continue cooking for another half hour. At the end, the second half of the greenery is added to the ready dish.
It also seems to be nothing complicated, but there are several approaches to the stove.
Two questions torment me most of all. Why, in such a light, fresh dish, is a fat tail and is it worth it to fry meat? It is possible, in order to strengthen the meat spirit — indeed, young meat, whether it is lamb or veal, does not have its own distinct taste.
But, to be honest, the main character in this dish is tarragon and its all-conquering flavor.
And the cherry plum acid, aggravated by white wine, makes chakapuli Absolutely low fat dish.
But with the addition of greens in two steps — at the beginning of preparation and at the end — I completely agree. You can even three: sprinkle on top of the already prepared dish. It remains plum: put at the beginning or at the end?
If you put it at the beginning of cooking, it will melt so that the bones will float in the finished dish. This is not good — and it is inconvenient and ugly. Taking bones out of a cherry plum is not at all authentic and, to be honest, a chore.
I came to a compromise variant: I cleaned half the cherry plum and put it together with the first portion of greens and all the other ingredients. The second part, with bones, falls into the dish for 15-20 minutes until cooked.
Thus, half the cherry plum is boiled down, transferring the acid to the sauce and thickening it a little, and half remains whole and pretty.
Apparently, lamb for chakapuli more traditional than veal. It is only important that the meat is young and from cuts suitable for extinguishing. That is, premium cuts such as loin and tenderloin can be reserved for more exquisite dishes.
Although chakapuli, combining the most delicate meat, the aroma of greenery and fresh sourness, can not be called simply!
Anticipating questions of what to do if green cherry plum is not bought or picked, I dare to suggest replacing it with rhubarb or green gooseberry or, at worst, tamarind or green tkemali.
Let it not be chakapuli, but «based on«.
Chakapuli from Kakhetian shepherds 4 servings
What you need:
- 700 g lamb or veal pulp
- 250-300 g of green cherry plum
- 2 bundles of tarragon
- 1 bunch of cilantro
- 1 bunch of dill
- 1 pod of green hot pepper
- 2 onions
- 1 garlic or 4-5 shoots of young garlic
- 500 ml of dry white wine
- salt to taste
What to do:
Meat cut into pieces the size of a walnut. Cut the onion, but not with thin feathers — in half and then along.
Garlic disassemble into cloves.
If you use garlic shoots, cut them into pieces 2-3 cm long.
Wash the greens, remove the leaves, remove the leaves, cilantro and dill coarsely chop, but without coarse stems.
Remove the bones from the half cherry plum.
Fold the onion and meat in a pot or thick-bottomed pot, salt and mix. Add half the greens and garlic, peeled cherry plum, pepper pod and wine. Cover and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
Reduce heat to low and cook for about an hour.
Check the meat for readiness — it should already be soft. If necessary, dosolite.
Add unpeeled cherry plum, remaining garlic and half the remaining greens.
Cook under the lid for another 15-20 minutes.
Serve chakapuli in soup bowls or deep plates, sprinkle with greens, and fresh bread.
Oh, and do not forget about the return of Georgian wine to Russia — drink chakapuli.
“I am an activist of seasonal cuisine, according to the precise definition of a Moscow gastropub. Everything that appears in my kitchen is prepared quickly, simply and according to the season. Even my book “52 Cakes” is divided into chapters by seasons.
And I also like to follow the path of simplifying the preparation technology, “cut corners” without harming the taste. This is possible if one imagines what is happening with the products, understanding — or trying to understand — the chemistry and physics of processes.
And then you really want to share your discoveries and discoveries with friends and colleagues.
It’s good that there are opportunities for this — three seasons of the program “Just Delicious” on the channel “Kitchen TV”, a culinary blog, which I have been conducting for 7 years with varying degrees of enthusiasm, and master classes in the culinary studio. ”
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