Georgian Lamb Stew (Bozbashi)
(serves 6-8)
In a stockpot or soup kettle, saute in butter or olive oil:
2 medium onions, chopped coarsely
for 10 minutes.  Add:
2 - 4 lbs lamb stew or shank pieces, with the bone
Cook over medium heat to brown the meat, then stir in:
3 tomatoes, chopped
2 potatoes, cubed
1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
12 pieces okra, trimmed and chopped into bite-size pieces
3/4 c dried apricots, coarsely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
Cook for 5 - 10 minutes, then add:
2 qts water
Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 1-2 hours.  Serve with a garnish of chopped parsley and plenty of crusty bread.
Notes & Variations:
  1. This recipe was adapted from The Georgian Feast, by Darra Goldstein (University of California Press, 1999), which calls for lean, boneless lamb chunks.  We like the flavor that you get from the bone pieces, and you can use the cheapest cuts you can find.  The result is a peasant stew with rich, complex flavors.
  2. We made this quite successfully with chicken instead of lamb.
  3. If you can't find fresh okra, substitute frozen.