Meat Stew On a Bed of Aubergine Sauce (The Sultan's Delight)
Not your average version of The Sultan's Delight. Omitting the standard use of tomatoes and cheese this slow-cooked dish of tender meat and peppers sits on a bed of nutmeg infused bechamel sauce blended with chargrilled aubergines. Reimagining a simply pepper and sweet baby onion meaty ragu much liked the sultan may have tasted himself for the first time.


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Category: Meat 'Et'
Cuisine Type Turkish


For the casserole

4 To 8 Baby / Pearl onions
1 Large Red pepper
1 Large Green pepper
Olive oil for frying
350 Grams Diced lamb or beef, fatty
1 Tablespoon Flour
2 Teaspoons Sundried pepper paste 'Biber Salçası'
1 Teaspoon Sweet paprika
0.5 Teaspoon Salt
0.25 Teaspoon Black pepper
2 Garlic cloves, minced

Chargrilled aubergines

4 Medium Aubergines

For the sauce

2 Tablespoons (Level) Butter
2 Tablespoons (Level) Flour
200 Mililitres Milk
5 Grates Nutmeg
Pinch Blackpepper
Pinch Salt

For serving

Squeeze Lemon
Fresh parsley

Meat Stew On a Bed of Aubergine Sauce (The Sultan's Delight) Directions

  1. Place the baby/pearl onions into a small bowl and cover with hot water. Leave for a few minutes. When taken from the hot water the skin should peel away without damaging the onion.
  2. Cut the peppers into large chunks and put aside with the whole but peeled onions.
  3. Dust the meat pieces in the flour.
  4. Using a medium burner on high, heat the oil in a medium to large casserole dish and brown the meat.
  5. Turn the flame to low and add in the sundried pepper paste (Biber salçası) and the water (100mls).
  6. Toss the meat pieces into the salça making sure they are all well covered.
  7. Stir through seasonings, garlic and peppers ensuring they are well distributed through the pan.
  8. Create a well in the centre of the pan and add in the baby onions.
  9. Place the lid on the dish and place on the simmer, cook for around an hour.
  10. The dish should cook very slowly and there should be minimum bubbling.
  11. The vegetables should keep the dish wet but if at any time the dish looks like it's drying out a further 50mls of hot water can be added, but do not stir the dish.
  12. Continue to simmer whilst preparing the aubergines, the stew is ready the meat should slightly break apart once pressed with a spoon.
  13. When this is achieved the heat can be turned off and the stew left to rest in the covered pan.
  14. Chargrill the aubergine over a flame using a Turkish chargrill roasting tray 'Közmatik' or BBQ.
  15. Alternatively, you can use the flame of a hob directly or broiler/grill of the oven.
  16. The aubergines are ready when blackened all over and soft enough to collapse in on themselves.
  17. Allow to cool.
  18. Once cool enough to handle, cut open the skin, remove the flesh and mash/ purée using a wooden spoon/fork.
  19. Squeezing on a few drops of lemon juice on to each one will help keep their colour and lift the dish.
  20. In a small to medium saucepan add the butter and flour and heat gently whilst stirring.
  21. The butter should begin to give a slightly nutty smell and appear to toast by browsing.
  22. Add the aubergine and allow this to blend into the flour mixture.
  23. Slowly stir in the milk and grate in the nutmeg.
  24. Continue to stir the sauce as it heats, it will begin to thicken and resemble a béchamel sauce.
  25. If you wish to use the grated cheese stir this into the sauce now and continue to stir whilst it melts.
  26. To serve, place the aubergine sauce onto your serving bowls and gently spread it across the base to create a bed.
  27. Spoon the meat stew onto the aubergine bed and top each dish with the baby onions.
  28. Garnish with fresh parsley and a squeeze of lemon.

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