The early Mevlani texts refer to lamb cooked with apples, plums, grapes, apricots, quinces and figs. Lamb and fruit casseroles are particularly popular in Bursa and Konya, two Islamic strongholds. This dish works equally well with veal.
2lb/900gshoulder of lamb, cut into bite-size chunks
3tablespoonskuyrukyağı (sheep’s tail fat), clarified butter, or oil with alittlebutter
8-10shallots, peeled and left whole
4clovesgarlic, roughly chopped
2quinces, peeled, cored and each cut into 8 segments
bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1tablespoonsugar or honey
Preheat oven to 400F/Mark 6/200C
Heat the fat in a pan. Brown the meat and remove from the pan. Add the shallots, garlic, quince and spices to the fat in the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes. Remove the quince from the pan and stir in the tomato purée. Return the meat to the pan and pour over the water. Bring the liquid to the boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Stir in the parsley and season to taste.
Tip the mixture into an oven-proof dish. Lay the slices of quince over the top and sprinkle with the sugar. Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the quince segments have caramelized on top. Serve hot with nohutlu pilav.