Along with cubed and deep-fried spiced liver, this goat stew is one of two famous Albanian dishes that influenced the cuisine of Anatolia. It is named after the city of Elbasan, which means ‘crushing fist’, presumably because Mehmet II built a huge fortress there to keep the Albanians under control in the fifteenth century.
Strangely, you’d have a hard time finding either this dish or the fried liver in modern Albania, where waiters are inclined to say ‘They do that in Turkey—we don’t do it any more’. It’s their loss. If you can’t find goat, use lamb.