Osh Khoyagusht

OSH KHOYAGUSHT – Pilaf with Khoyagusht (meat, chestnuts and eggs)
Name “Khoyagusht” is a Persian origin, as almost all the dishes the Mountain Jews cuisine. Khoya – means eggs and Gusht – means meat.
Properly prepared Khoyagusht has a delicate taste and delicious flavor. It can be cooked either in a frying pan or in the oven.
Khoyagusht usually served with Osh (rice/pilaf).

*A full-sized picture of this dish is available in the Gallery.

Ingredients for 4 servings:
for Khoyagusht:
1lb (½ kg) beef or lamb
2 large onions
10.5 oz (300 g) shelled cooked chestnuts
5-6 large eggs
2 tbsp olive oil (only if necessary)
Salt and Pepper to taste
for Osh:
2 cups long-grain Basmati rice (cup size 250 ml)
3 quarts (3 liter) water
3 tbsp salt

Preparation:
Cooking the meat.

Place the meat in the pot, add the water just enough to cover the meat. As the water comes to a boil, skim the foam off, add 1 onion, salt and pepper, reduce heat to low and simmer the meat for about 2-3 hours until meat is very tender.

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Allow the meat to cool down in its own broth. Remove the meat from the broth, separate the fat from the meat, and shred the meat using two forks or your hands to pull it apart. Remove the onion from the broth and mash it well with a fat. Mix them with a shredded meat.

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Preparing the chestnuts.
You can prepare Khoyagusht by using cooked and peeled chestnuts, which vacuum-packed and ready to add to any dish. They are usually available at any oriental markets.

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If cooking with fresh chestnuts, make sure they are plump, firm, glossy, and heavy for their size. To cook with the chestnuts, you must first peel the shell and remove the inner skin. This is usually done by boiling or roasting them. If you are pairing your chestnuts with other flavors, you need to boil them. To boil chestnuts, use a sharp paring knife to cut an X on the flat side of each nut. Bring them to a boil in a pot of cold water and let it simmer for 20-30 minutes until the chestnuts are completely cooked. Remove the pot from the heat and scoop out the chestnuts, a few at a time, and peel off the shell and skin. As they cool down, they become more difficult to peel, so leave them in the hot water until you are ready to peel them.

Preparing Bor-Khoyagusht.
Khoyagusht without eggs is called Bor-Khoyagusht.
Peel the onion, cut it in half, and slice it into thin half-rings.
Remove the fat from the surface of the broth and pour it into a skillet (you can add olive oil if there is not enough fat in the broth.) Warm the skillet and add the onion slices. Cook over low heat, until the onion is soft.

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Add shredded meat and cooked chestnuts into the skillet with the onion and mix all together. Then add a few tablespoons of broth, cover the skillet with the lid, and cook meat mixture covered, for 20 minutes over low heat.

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You can prepare Bor-Khoyagusht in advance and keep it in the refrigerator for a few days before cooking.

Cooking Khoyagusht.
Separately, whisk the eggs, add salt to your taste, and mix with the meat.

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You can mix the eggs with the meat mixture right in the skillet, or in a large bowl, and then place the mixture back to the skillet.

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Cover the skillet with a lid and cook Khoyagusht over low heat until the eggs cooked all the way through and have set. Then, turn off the heat and leave the Khoyagusht in the pan for a minute to absorb all the juices.

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Preparing the Osh (pilaf).
1. Rinse the rice thoroughly in cold water several times until the water stays clear, to remove excess starch.
2. Fill a pot (or saucepan) with water, add salt, and bring it to a boil. Place the rice into the boiling water. Stir, lower the heat to medium, and let it cook for 10 minutes (cooking time is depending on the quality of your rice). Cooked rice should be soft on the outside and hard inside, but not raw and not overcooked.
3. Strain the rice using a colander, and rinse with a hot water, to wash out an extra salt.
4. Move the rice into a pot, and pour 3 tbsp of hot water on top.
5. Wrap the lid of the pot in a tea towel or paper towel and cover the rice. Cook over a low heat for about 45-60 minutes. Put a heat diffuser or a pan under your pot to prevent burning.

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Cut Khoyagusht into portion-sized pieces and serve with Osh (Pilaf).

Bon Appétit! Enjoy!

This post is also available in: Russian

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