On Easter Saturday, there is the frenzy of getting ready for the weekend, preparing the sheep or goat for the skewer or as in many places in Greece for the oven.
Traditionally, the animal would be slaughtered at home and with the left over offal the Easter soup magiritsa would be made so as not to waste anything. This soup is eaten after the midnight mass after Saturday’s church service when churchgoers come home and break the fast with the magiritsa.
My children don’t like offal where as I do, so with that, I have created this version to ensure our family break the Easter fast the traditional way. Try it, it’s delicious and guaranteed to be like by all. This has become a family favourite and it sits on our Easter table always
Around Easter, it’s very easy to overeat and one thing I found when invited to a village in Greece on Easter Sunday was that the yogurt was near by to calm the stomach. So, whatever you do, souvla or oven, magiritsa with or without offal, enjoy the festive weekend and don’t over eat.
4- 5 lamb shanks
500 grams chicken wings
2 large onions diced in big pieces
2 carrots diced in small pieces
2 sticks celery diced finely
1 bunch finely chopped parsley
2 bunches of finely chopped dill
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 small bunch green shallots, trimmed and diced
1. In a large saucepan place the lamb shanks and onions, put lots of water almost to the top leaving enough so that water does not spill over
2. Bring to the boil, turn heat down to a simmer and allow cooking for 1 hour, regularly skimming the white residue (which is fat) left over by the cooking process
3. Add the chicken wings and cook for another half hour continuing to skim the fat
4. Take off the heat, strain the stock in another large saucepan, which you will continue to make the magiritsa
5. Put meat aside for now till cool enough to handle
6. In the meat stock add the carrots, celery, parsley, and dill and allow cooking on medium heat.
7. While the vegetables are cooking go to the cooled shanks and chicken wings and strip all the meat off discarding all bones and skins and cutting in to very small pieces
8. Add the cleaned meat into the stock with the vegetables, add salt and pepper to taste and cook for another 20 minutes
Ingredients for avgolemono (egg and lemon sauce)
NOTE: This is a large amount of soup therefore the avgolemono has been created accordingly
4 eggs separated
4 lemons squeezed and the pips taken out
NOTE: Its important that the directions for the avgolemono are flowed strictly otherwise the egg can curdle or you could end up having scrambled egg floating on your soup
1. Beat the egg whites till they for peaks
2. Add the egg yolks and beat till blended well
3. Add the lemon juice gradually while beating
4. While the soup is till simmering take small amounts of very hot soup and add to the egg mixture gradually while beating all the time, do this till bowl is full. This heats the egg mixture slowly before pouring into soup
5. Add the egg mixture into the soup stirring constantly while its simmering for at least 5 – 8 minutes till the avgolemono sauce becomes one with the soup
6. Serve with a dash of fresh diced shallots sprinkled on top
NOTE: If this done carefully the soup can be reheated the next day safely and without scrabbling the eggs.
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