Turkish Sultan’s Delight Recipe: Hünkar Beğendi

How to Make Sultan’s Delight


Serves 6

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup ( ½ stick) unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons virgin olive oil
  • 3 pounds boneless lamb shoulder or shank, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 medium Spanish onion, diced ( ¾ cup)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 4 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped ( 2 ½ cups)
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 ½ cups lamb stock or water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped Italian parsley

Creamed Eggplant Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds globe eggplants (about 3 large)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • ¼ cup ( ½ stick) unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 ounces kasseri cheese, grated ( ½ cup)

Method

  1. Melt the butter and heat the oil together in a heavy medium size saucepan over high heat. Brown the lamb all over, stirring it with a wooden spoon, about 6 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook gently, stirring, for 1 more minute.
  2. Add the tomato paste, tomatoes, thyme, oregano, and stock. Season with salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat, cover the saucepan, and simmer for about 1 hour or until the lamb is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Skim the surface occasionally to remove any scum that rises to the top.
  3. While the lamb is cooking, prepare the creamed eggplant. Prepare a charcoal grill or heat the broiler. Using the tip of a skewer, prick the eggplants all over to allow the heat to penetrate. Place the eggplants on the grill, set about 5 inches above the coals, and grill them for about 15 minutes, turning occasionally, until the eggplants have collapsed completely. If you’re using the broiler, broil the eggplants for about 25 minutes, turning frequently. Meanwhile, blend the lemon juice, 3 cups water, and 3 tablespoons salt in a large bowl and set it aside.
  4. When the eggplants are cool enough to handle, peel them, and place the pulp in the bowl of lemon water. Let them stand for I0 minutes, to help prevent discoloration. Transfer the pulp to a strainer and let the excess liquid drain through by pressing the pulp gently with the back of a large wooden spoon.
  5. In a small saucepan over low heat, mix the milk and heavy cream and heat until warm. Melt the butter in a large saucepan, then add the flour and cook gently, stirring with a wooden spoon, for about 1 minute. Using a wire whisk, slowly add the warm milk and cream, whisking constantly to incorporate the milk mixture completely, and cook gently without boiling the mixture for 1 more minute. Add the eggplant pulp and then the cheese, whisking constantly to puree the eggplant. Cook for 4 minutes, whisking, until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  6. Spoon the creamy eggplant onto the center of warmed plates and arrange the lamb around each serving. Top with some of the sauce from the pan of lamb. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve at once.