Late on a Saturday night, after the resurrection church service, in good company with plenty of wine, this lovely soup is always on the menu.
1 lamb or goat`s pluck well washed *
700 g beef
2 lettuces chopped finely
1 bunch dill chopped finely
1/2 kilo spring onions chopped
1/2 cup rice
Juice of 2 lemons
S & P
Cube the beef and boil with plenty of lightly salted water. Remove scum as it forms. Once cooked, remove the beef and save the stock.
The pluck can be prepared in two different ways. For the more experienced, raw is fine, for the novice, lightly blanched is the way to go. Bring to a boil the beef water, throw in the pluck and allow the colour to change, just 2 or 3 minutes is adequate. Remove and strain. Pop onto your wooden board and separate the organs with a sharp knife.
*Most Cretan housewifes will use every single piece of the pluck, membranes, hard bits, goey bits and tubes. It comes down to personal taste, so use whatever you are comfortable using.
Chop very finely the organs, the smaller the better. As you chop them, pop them into a bowl of iced water. You can leave them in the fridge for some time, to use later if required.
Prepare your other ingredients, chopping finely the lettuce, spring onions and dill. Finely chop the beef. Strain the chopped organs and in clean pan, add the olive oil on a gentle heat, throw in the chopped organs, frying lightly. Add the onions, dill, lettuce and continue frying lightly, lastly, add the beef. Add the boiled beef water, S & P and supplement liquid if necessary, to bring the level to just above the ingredients. Leave to simmer for about an hour. Check the liquid levels occasionally and add extra if required. Add the rice and allow an extra 10/15 minutes till cooked.
Beat the eggs in a bowl, slowly add the lemon juice in a trickle, continue to beat the eggs constantly. Turn off the heat, but leave the soup on the hotplate. Using a ladle, pour slowly 2 or 3 ladles of the soup liquid into the lemon and egg juice, continue to beat as you add the liquid, add slowly as it could turn to omelette! This procedure raises the temperature of the egg and lemon mixture, enabling you to add it to the soup successfully. Pour the mixture into the soup, shake the pan around to ensure the mixture mixes with the soup. Leave on the hot plate for a few minutes, which should be turned off, but retain enough heat to cook the egg.
Serve with a green salad, wine and good company!
Photos will be uploaded when I`ve made the soup on Saturday.
Recipe kindly provided by Stella Manousaki.