Friday, 31 August 2012

Olympic Food Challenge: Palestine - Okra Stew

Having survived my first attempt at cooking okra, a vegetable that up until that point I found abhorrent, I decided to keep going with my new discovery.  I had always found okra to be a slimy, slug-like vegetable and couldn't understand its appeal.  It turned out that if you look after it, it is really nice.

Tonight's recipe for the Olympic Food Challenge is called Bamee, an Okra Stew from Palestine.  Although if you take the time to read the recipe I hope you'll agree that it is a lamb stew with okra.  Lamb means that it is not just me being challenged tonight as lamb is Z's final hangover from her vegetarian past.

This is a very simple recipe and because of that the finished dish does have that authentic feel to it.  The lamb (we had some neck) was browned with an onion, some garlic and allspice, covered in water and left to cook for a couple of hours.  Sautéed okra, a tin of tomatoes and a bunch of coriander are then added for a further half an hours cooking.

I was wary as some of the okra tales I had received said that stewing was one of the reasons that it went slimy.  However, some of my advice on cooking okra paid off as there was no slime in sight.  We had the stew with some flatbreads to mop up the juices.  Palestine's two Paralympians will be hoping to mop up their opposition on Saturday as they take to the Olympic Stadium in the long jump and shot put.  I wish them good luck with their endeavours.  I can't see us cooking this again as the lamb was still too lamby and fiddly for Z.  If gold medals were awarded for effort alone she would have been top of the podium tonight.

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