Ioannina

Lamb kapamas

Traditional slow-cooked lamb stew flavored with raisins.
Ηπειρώτικο Πρωινό-Lamb kapamas
Before cooking...

In the Epirus highlands, sheep were the primary source of meat. Hence, there are dozens of traditional recipes made with lamb or mutton. Lamb was also the meat of choice for the Epirotic version of “kapamas,” a flavorful, aromatic dish cooked slowly in a covered pot. The cooking method also explains the name of the dish, which comes from the Turkish word “kapamak,” meaning “cover.”

Lamb kapamas

Ingredients

What’s particular about this kapamas is the few aroma-inducing materials like fresh and dried herbs. Instead, the lamb is flavored with sheep butter and raisins, a popular ingredient in vine-growing regions like Metsovo or Zitsa.

  • 1 kg lamb, chopped into medium chunks
  • 100 gr all-purpose flour
  • 100 gr sheep butter
  • 80 gr raisins
  • Salt (to preference)
  • Pepper (to preference)

Execution

  1. In a large bowl, season the lamb well with salt using your hands.
  2. Place a large cooking pot on high heat, and mix the lamb and the raisins. Add plenty of water and cover the pot. Bring to a boil, set to low heat, and cook slowly until the meat is tender. Remove from the heat, strain the broth into a bowl, and leave the lamb and raisins in the pot.
  3. Place a saucepan on low heat and gently mix the butter and flour for a few minutes. When they start cooking, slowly add broth until you have a thin batter.
  4. Add the batter to the pot with the lamb and raisins, and cook on low heat until the stew thickens.
  5. Serve the kapamas hot with freshly toasted bread.

This plain but flavorful kapamas is a magnificent example of how the Epirote homemakers of yesteryear managed to develop a hearty and savory cuisine based on the most simple and frugal ingredients.

After cooking...

The Sarakatsani were Greek nomadic shepherds who traveled with their herds between fixed summer and winter pastures. On the slopes of Pindos, the nomads mainly settled in the region of Zagori. Today, in the Gyftokampos area near the Skamneli village, there’s a unique open-air museum of Sarakatsani life, comprised of several “konakia,” their traditional domed huts artfully woven out of branches and foliage.

Ηπειρώτικο Πρωινό-After cooking...