Esra Muslu, executive chef at Soho House Istanbul, serves up three dishes that prove cold-weather food needn’t be stodgy or bland
Slow-roasted lamb shoulder with freekeh￼
One whole lamb shoulder (around 1.5kg)
A bunch of fresh thyme
1 small celeriac, diced
3 white onions, diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed 2 carrots, diced
2 red onions, diced
80g pomegranate seeds
2 cinnamon sticks
20g dried mint
Rub the lamb with extra virgin olive oil and some of the fresh thyme, and season generously with salt and pepper. Arrange the celeriac, white onion, garlic, carrot, cinnamon and remaining thyme around the meat in a large baking tray or casserole dish. Cover, creating a tight seal, and cook in the oven at 165°C.
Uncover the meat after two hours, then continue cooking for at least another hour, until it’s extremely tender. Sweat the red onion in a pan with the butter until soft. Add the freekeh and the stock, then cook for around 15 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed.
Heat the lentils and chickpeas in a separate pan. Mix the freekeh with the pulses, the dried mint and the pomegranate, then serve with the lamb and your favourite roast vegetables.
Kuşbaşılı (beef) pide
For the dough:
1kg plain flour
A pinch of sugar
A large pinch of salt 600ml water
For the filling:
120g diced beef 1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1 small red onion 2 tomatoes
Mix all the dough ingredients together, then knead thoroughly and leave to prove for half an hour. Cut the proved dough into 12 equal portions, then roll it out as thinly as possible. Dice all the ingredients for the filling, season well and place on top of the dough, folding it over at the edges.
Cook your pides in the oven on its highest temperature, until they’re light and crisp. In a wood-fired oven it will take only 4-6 minutes. Serve with butter to rub on the hot edges of the pide crust.
Kofte with salad and flatbread
150g ground beef
1 small onion, finely chopped 20g breadcrumbs
25g stoned dates
25g peeled pistachios
A pinch of ground cumin
A few parsley leaves, chopped 90g fresh cherry tomatoes
90g diced cucumber
Half a lemon
Pide dough (see recipe, left)
Mix ground beef with the onion, breadcrumbs, dates, pistachios, cumin and parsley, and season the mixture well with salt and pepper. Without overworking, make small meatballs with your hands. Deep fry these, if you have a fryer, or shallow fry on a high temperature, turning regularly.
Roll out your dough thinly, then bake on its own in the oven at its highest temperature. Mix the tomatoes and cucumber with a simple vinaigrette, and serve with the warm bread, meatballs and a grilled half a lemon, for squeezing over everything.
Read more great recipes…