Tile-Roasted Lamb Shepherd’s Style

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking: Traditional and Modern Recipes to Savor and Share

Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking

By Paula Wolfert

Published 2009

  • About

On my last trip to Turkey I spent a day at a lovely outdoor restaurant, Ayso, in the town of Silivri near the Marmara Sea. The owner, Kemal Sofuoğlo invited me into the kitchen to observe the preparation of his popular clay pot dishes, including this one, Çomlekte Çoban Kavurma, which he translated as “shepherd’s roast lamb cooked on an earthen plate.”

It’s an easy recipe, but it must be cooked as directed: hot meat on a hot dry concave clay tile or a thick, unglazed ceramic skillet, such as La Chamba. To accomplish this, the meat is first sautéed in a skillet and then transferred to a slowly preheated clay tile to finish along with finely chopped shallots and diced tomatoes. You’ll hear the lamb cubes sizzle when they hit the hot tile, and that’s part of the fun. You’ll also get a wonderful herbal aroma conveyed by the released steam.

This method is fairly common around the Mediterranean and much appreciated for the special earthy flavor it conveys. I’ve even seen pairs of hot concave roof tiles with meat, fish, or poultry sandwiched between them.