Thiebou Yapp is made with seasoned lamb and jasmine rice, a variation on Senegal's national dish. The original version, called Thiebou Djeun, is made with rice and fish.
3 lb. lamb meat, boneless
Salt and pepper
2 lb. broken jasmine rice (twice-broken rice, available in Asian specialty markets)
2 onions, diced
1 green or red bell pepper (the paste color will depend on the type of bell pepper)
1 bunch scallions
5 cloves garlic
1 habanero pepper
1-1/2 cups canola oil
1/2 gallon water
1 cup vegetable medley, fresh or frozen (optional: Chef Marie-Claude recommends using carrots, corn, green peas, green beans, and lima beans)
1/2 cup grated carrots and lettuce (for garnish)
Balsamic vinaigrette and honey mustard, if desired (just for plating)
Cut the lamb into 2-inch cubes. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Rinse the rice in warm water. Drain and set aside.
Make the Nokoss (red or green Senegalese garlic paste). Put 1 onion in a food processor. Add 3/4 of the green pepper, 3/4 of the scallions, the garlic, and the habanero pepper and process well into a paste. Add salt and pepper, then set aside.
Heat the canola oil in a medium sized pot over medium heat. There should be enough oil to fill the bottom inch of the pot. Add the lamb. Cook for 25 minutes, stirring often until the lamb is browned equally on all sides and the juice of the meat is gone. Do not let the lamb stick to bottom of pan.
When meat is browned, add the remaining onion and continue to cook for 2-4 minutes, stirring constantly. When the onions are lightly browned, add 3 tablespoons Nokoss and ¬¬¬cook for 2-4 minutes. Add enough water to submerge the lamb and onions, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes, again making sure that the meat does not stick to the bottom.
While the lamb is simmering, prepare the rice. Boil a pot of water, and place rice, evenly layered, in a steamer above the boiling water. Cook for 10 minutes. The rice will be done when it is soft but not mushy. Do not overcook.
After the 45 minutes of simmering, season the lamb and broth with salt, pepper, and bout 2 more tablespoons of the Nokoss. Stir thoroughly, then immediately add the steamed rice to the pot and stir again so everything is completely mixed. Lower the flame to low heat, cover, and cook for 20 minutes.
Add the vegetable medley, if desired. Mix thoroughly, cover again, and cook for another 25 minutes.
Once the time is up, the rice will have absorbed all the liquid, leaving the rice a brown color. Transfer the Thiebou Yapp into a small bowl that will serve as a mold. Pack tightly with a spoon, then turn over onto plate. The Thiebou Yapp should hold the shape of the bowl. Garnish with carrots and lettuce and, if desired, serve with balsamic vinaigrette and/or honey mustard.
Serves: 8 to 10
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