In the early hours of the Greek Orthodox Easter Sunday morning, you would be hard pressed to find a Greek home that does not serve Magiritsa. For the brave foodies out there, it is a soup made of lamb offal, which is eaten by the Greek families once they return from the Greek Easter Saturday evening’s church service (that lasts past midnight).
It is eaten to break the fast of the Greek Orthodox Great Lent, which lasts for 40 days before Easter. Its ingredients result from their association with the spitroasted lamb which is traditionally served on Easter Sunday.
The Magiritsa resulting from this particular recipe was so good that I ate two full plates, as well as another one the following day!! For the entire recipe, see the end part of this Description.
For another delicious Greek Easter recipe, check out Grandma Eleni’s Pashalina Koulourakia (Greek Easter Cookies): https://youtu.be/ovZlZUUEjY0
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1 head of lamb
300g spring onions
1 glass white wine
A quarter of a cup butter
6 tbsp rice
3-4 egg yolks
Juice of 2-3 lemons
Salt and pepper to season
Water, lemons and vinegar to wash and clean the offal
1. Warm water in a pan with 1 tbsp of vinegar and salt. When hot, take off heat, place the head of the lamb in the water and leave it for about one hour.
2. After the hour, wash the head well with water. Fill the pan with cold water, place the head back and bring to the boil. Allow it to boil for about five minutes.
3. Take head off pan, drain it and wash well with cold water.
4. Add 7-8 cups of cold water to the pan and add salt. Bring to the boil and when boiling add the head of lamb back to the pan. Cover the pan and cook for 15 minutes.
5. In the meantime, wash the liver and the heart. In another pan, bring water to boil, add the liver and boil it for 5 minutes. Take liver off pan, wash it in cold water, drain it and cut it in small pieces.
6. Wash the intestines and the stomach really well with plenty of water. Use a long wire to turn the intestines inside out and repeat with washing them with water. Then rub the intestines and the stomach with lemons, plenty of salt and a bit of vinegar. Wash them again with plenty of water.
7. Boil the intestines and stomach in the same way as the liver. Drain and cut them in small pieces.
8. When the head is ready, cut off the cheeks and cut them again in small pieces. Cut the tongue, peel off its skin and cut into small pieces.
9. Finely slice the spring onions and the lettuce.
10. Saute them in a pan with the butter. If too dry, add a little bit of extra virgin olive oil.
11. Add the fennel and parsley, cook for another couple of minutes and then add the offal, stiring continuously. If the mix is too dry, add a little bit of extra virgin olive oil and continue stirring.
12. After about 10 minutes add the wine and let the food cook until the wine evaporates. At this point, you can also add 3-6 tbsps of rice.
13. Keep stirring frequently, until the offal is cooked and is no longer raw or semi raw. Then, add the lettuce, black pepper and salt to season, and stir well.
14. After about 5 minutes, sprinkle 2-3 tbsps of flour and stir well. Add 2-3 glasses of water and bring to boil. Cook for a further 10 minutes.
15. In a bowl, beat the egg yolks well. Then add slowly the juice of the lemons, still beating. Once done, use a large spoon to add spoonfulls of the juices from the pan where the food is, while still beating the mix. We basically need to bring the egg & lemon mix to the same temperature as the liquid in the pan, so that the eggs do not get cooked and turn into scrambled eggs.
16. Add plenty of spoonfulls of the liquid into the egg mix while beating. Then, pour the mix into the pan where the food is, stir well so the liquid covers all parts of the food and thickens.
17. Take pan off heat and serve. If you like lemon, you can add more lemon juice in your plate.
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