Meat Dishes

Appears in

Classic Turkish Cooking

By Ghillie Basan

Published 1995

  • About

The early Turks of Central Asia first bred horses for eating and riding, which were in turn used for herding sheep to new pastures. Since then every part of the sheep has been used for cooking in interesting ways: for instance, the popular kokoreç, grilled sheep’s intestines stuffed with offal and spices; kelle paça çorbası, a soup made with the head and trotters of sheep; and in parts of Anatolia the flabby tails are burnt to release the fat, kuyrukyağı, which has already figured in several recipes in this book and is used for cooking meat and grains. In addition to mutton and lamb, the early pastoral nomads lived off the animals they hunted, such as deer and hare. The meat was fried or grilled in its own fat over a high heat — the kavurma method — which enabled it to be stored for months underground in earthenware pots, protected in the congealed fat.