SAINT GEORGE'S DAY
6 MAY

One of the most respected saints in Bulgaria is Saint George the Victor. He is patron of farmers. On the day preceding the day of St. George the peasants used to plant a beech bough, into leaf, in the middle of their fields, in order to make the wheat grow high and, in general, have rich crops. At the door of each house, beech twigs, blossoming  hawthorn, lilac or other bushes in flower were fixed. On St. George's Day the housewives stuck green branches to the fountains and the wells and dropped stalks of nettle in the water cauldrons - for good health.

St. George's Day is also the festival of cattle breeders. Traditionally, on this day shepherds would take a lamb, with a wreath on its little horns, to the churchyard. The priest would say a solemn prayer for the health of both humans and animals, and for a rich harvest. It was a custom for each household to have roasted lamb or some other lamb dish on its St. George's Day table. Here follow several recipes which can help you prepare an original festive meal for your family or friends.


SEASONED CHOPPED LAMB IN MILK  |  STEWED LAMB  WITH ONION - KAPAMA FILLET WITH  MUSTARD SAUCE

CHOPPED SEASONED LAMB IN MILK
Ingredients
  • 500 g boned lamb
  • 250 g milk

Directions:

    Chop the meat and soak it in the milk for about two hours. Drain the morsels and skewer them. While the meat is being roasted on a medium heat, pour milk on it now and then. Before serving the dish, season it with pepper to your taste.

STEWED LAMB WITH ONION - KAPAMA 
Ingredients
  • 400 g lamb 
  • some water, vinegar, wine
  • flour to cover the meat with
  • pepper
  • 1 spoonful tomato paste
  • a pinch of  cinnamon
  • 2 cloves
  • parsley

Directions:

    Steep the meat in a marinade of water, vinegar, wine and spices to suit your taste: pepper, mint , parsley, laurel leaves. After the meat has been soaked in this mixture for at least two hours, drain it and cut it in small pieces. Roll the bits of meat in the flour and fry them in hot vegetable oil. Add salt, pepper, 1 spoonful of tomato paste, cinnamon and cloves. Add also two glasses of water and let the meat stew until the sauce is thickened. Serve with a salad of boiled potatoes. Sprinkle the dish with finely cut parsley immediately before serving.

FILLET WITH MUSTARD SAUCE
Ingredients
  • 1/2 kg of lamb 
  • 2 spoonfuls mustard
  • pepper
  • flour

Directions:

    Cut the meat in portions, salt and pepper  them. Fry them slightly in butter and then roast them in the oven, in a buttered baking dish. Take out and cover them with a foil sheet to keep them warm. Mix the butter used for frying with a small quantity of bouillon, 1 spoonful of flour and some salt. Add two spoonfuls of mustard and a pinch of pepper. Stir well the mixture. Serve the lamb fillets seasoned with the sauce and placed on "canapés" of toasts or fried slices of white bread, having removed the crust. Garnish with a salad of lettuce, radishes and onion.

The dishes presented here are Bulgarian cuisine. As you can see, to prepare them you need not more than half a kilo of lamb. Still, if you have decided to celebrate this great Christian holiday in a large company of friends, and have provided a whole lamb, it is good to know what you can cook of it. You can make various dishes, using the different regions of the lamb, and amaze your guests. Here follow some stimulating ideas:
You can cook a soup, a stew or jelly of the feet.
The head can be boiled or roasted; it makes a delicious clear-soup.
The shoulder can be stuffed with rice, pluck, spinach, parsley, sorrel and dock.
The kidneys may be stewed with spinach and rice.
The legs may be minced to make meat-balls, or roasted and served with potatoes.

 

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