Executive Chef, Molyvos, New York NY
dish is truly authentic. It's the first thing Greeks must eat to break
the Easter fast. According-to tradition, families return home or to
restaurants after midnight mass on Easter Sunday (which is-really 12:30
AM on Sunday), when the Magarista is served . This may be served along
with trays-of lamb's brains and chunks of lamb, vegetables, potatotes,
and such , followed by light salads and-the customary breads.
Yield: 4-6 servings
To prepare the innards
- 10 oz.
- 6 oz.
uncooked lamb's intestines
juice of 2 lemons plus 2 Tbls. lemon juice
- 1 carrot
- 1 rib
- 1 leek,
trimmed of root end,
spread, sand removed under
water and diced
- 2 bay
- 8 whole
cup white wine
sweetbreads with cold water, add the juice of one lemon and a pinch
of salt. Cover and-refrigerate for 3-4 hours. Drain and set sweetbreads
aside. To a large sauce pot, add 2 quarts of-water, the carrot,celery,
leek, bay leaves, peppercorns and white wine. Add a generous pinch of
slat-and bring water to a simmer. Cook 25 minutes, then add sweetbreads.
Poach sweetbreads until-slightly firm to the touch and white in color,
about 8 minutes. Transfer the contents of the pot to a-large mixing
bowl, set into a larger bowl filled with ice. Let cool, then separate
sweetbreads into-small lobes. Reserve. Rinse intestines under cold running
water to remove any impurities. Cover with cold water, add the-juice
of one lemon and a pinch of salt. Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours.
Drain. Place intestines-in sauce pot, cover with water, add a pinch
of salt, and bring water to a simmer. Poach for 2-minutes, drain and
set aside to cool. When cooled, tie intestines into knots and cut each
into 1/2"-pieces. Set aside.
To prepare the soup
- 2 Tbls.
- 3 cups
peeled and finely diced onion, from 2 medium
cup sliced scallions (both green and white)
- 1 tsp
- 2 quarts
plus 2 cups hot stock (recipe follows)
cup long grain white rice
- 3 Tbls.
fresh chopped dill
- 3 Tbls.
- 2 cups
romaine lettuce, thinly sliced into 2-3" segments, as in chiffonade
- 2 eggs
- 6 Tbls.
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
stock pot over medium-low heat and add the olive oil. When warm, add
the onion, and cook-until soft and translucent, 8-10 minutes. Add half
of the scallions, stir, add the flour, and blend well. Cook, stirring
for 1 minute. Add 2 quarts of stock and bring to a boil. Lower heat
and let simmer-for 10 minutes, frequently skimming the impurities. Add
rice and cook until tender, 12-15 minutes. Add sweetbreads and intestines
and cook 5 minutes. Add dill, remaining scallions, parsley and-romaine
lettuce and simmer another 2 minutes.
In a separate stainless steel bowl, whip eggs until pale yellow. Add
lemons juice and cornstarch and-continue whipping to incorporate. Add
remaining 2 cups of hot stock slowly to egg mixture. When-blended and
smooth, slowly add this mixture to the soup, stirring constantly so
the eggs don't scramble or curdle. Ladle into heated bowls and serve
with platter of meat removed from the lamb's head,steamed vegetables
To make the stock:
- 2 lamb's
heads, cut in half, brains removed and reserved for meze
of one lemon
- 2 tsp
- 1 lb.
and kitchen string
- 1 bunch
of parsley, stems removed and tied, reserve leaves for another use
- 10 peppercorns
- 2 bay
- 2 medium
white onions, peeled and quartered
- 2 carrots,
- 2 celery
ribs, roughly chopped
Place lamb's heads in a large pot and cover with water. Add the lemon
juice and salt, cover and-refrigerate for 3-4 hours. Drain and transfer
lamb's heads to large colander or strainer. Rinse under-cold running
water until water runs clear. Let stand to drain.╩Meanwhile, make a
sachet, cut a 6" square of cheesecloth and place the parsley stems,
peppercorns and bay leaves in the center. Tie it closed with string
and set aside. In a large, heavy gauge pot, place the lamb's head and
the bones. Add enough cold water so the-level is two inches above the
bones, place on high heat and bring to boil. Reduce heat to a simmer
and skim any impurities from the top of the stock. Add the sachet, onions,
carrots and celery. Simmer until the meat on the lamb's head is tender,
about 2 hours. Remove the head and set aside (you may remove the meat
to serve alongside the Magarista). Continue simmering the stock for
another hour to fully develop flavor. Strain and reserve stock for soup.