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Tave Kosi: Albanian Rice and Lamb Casserole with Yogurt Sauce

Tave Kosi

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  • Author: Noreen
  • Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4 people 1x


Tave Kosi with chopped oregano and mint.


  • .5 pounds lamb shoulder (or any other cut), trimmed and cut into 1½ inch pieces
  • 5 tablespoons grass-fed butter
  • 2 tablespoons pastry flour
  • ¼ cup arborio (risotto) or any other short grain rice
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup finely chopped oregano
  • ¼ cup finely chopped mint
  • 34 cups Greek yogurt depending on the size of your baking dish
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Stage 1 – Pre-Cook the Lamb and Rice

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Take a small baking dish and line it with 1 tablespoon of your butter
  3. Place your chunks of lamb into the baking dish and season well with salt and pepper
  4. Once the oven is heated and ready to go, pop the baking dish with your lamb in for ~40-45 minutes
  5. While the lamb is baking in the oven, take a small pot for your rice. Add ½ cup of water to the pot and bring to a boil.
  6. Pre-cook your rice for ~7 minutes as most of the water soaks up, then take the pot off the heat and set your pre-cooked rice aside
  7. Take the baking dish out once the lamb has baked, then drain the liquid that’s accumulated in the baking pan
  8. Set your lamb pieces aside for the time being. Also, don’t turn the oven off as you’ll use it soon again

Stage 2 – Making the Roux

  1. In a small saucepot, melt 3 tablespoons of butter over medium heat
  2. Once the butter is nice and heated, add your garlic and oregano and cook for 1 minute
  3. As the garlic starts to brown, add a dash of water and 1 tablespoon of your flour in. A thick paste should start to form as you whisk the flour in
  4. Once added and thickened, add the accumulated liquid from the baked lamb into the stockpot. Whisk well into the thickened paste
  5. Add your last tablespoon into the mixture to thicken it once more. Whisk it well in, then take the stockpot off the heat and let cool for ~5 minutes

Stage 3 – Making Yogurt Sauce

  1. Once your roux has cooled to slightly above room temperature, add the Greek yogurt and beaten eggs into the saucepot
  2. Fold all the ingredients thoroughly together with one another to get a slightly runny, yellowish sauce

Stage 4 – Assembling it Together

  1. In your baking pan, spread your lamb pieces evenly around
  2. Next, sprinkle the rice over the lamb and into the empty spaces
  3. Then, pour the yogurt sauce over the lamb and rice until the baking dish is fully covered
  4. Finally, cut your last ½ tablespoon of butter into smaller pieces and distribute over the top. Once distributed, place the baking dish into your oven again and bake for 40-45 minutes
  5. Once golden brown, remove from the oven, let cool and sprinkle the fresh mint over top
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour, 40 mins
  • Cuisine: Albanian