I have a ton of Russian cookbooks and used to havea good Georgian one but left it in a hotel in NYC a few years ago. The stadrad starting point is "Please to teh Table" which is easy to get and fairly comprehensive. theer is anotehr book I used ot use in tandem but damned if I can think of it right now. But that one will get you started. In my experience the main question is: rough lamb or fine cut? Aragvi in Moscow makes something of an 'haute" kharcho and while I liked it (and the Georgian wine that went with it) I thought a more peasant version on teh Garden Ring was better. good look with teh seasoning.
I know this is an old thread but I was starting to make Kharcho just now so here's my take on it since I think this is such a stunning soup for winter.
if you search for Kharco on this board, you'll find a recipe embedded in a long thread. It's for beef but you could easily substitute lamb.
My favorite is in Paula Wolfert's Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean. Hers is beef also but lamb easily substituted. it's much like the one on this board, but she uses a particularly authentic and complicated spice mixture. She also uses lemon juice instead of the plum sauce. You could also add some pomegranate juice. I think using a homemade stock to cook the meat makes it even more flavorful but if you use meat with some bone and brown the meat first, you can get a very good result.
Also she recommends serving it with a platter of fresh herbs...many types...basil, mint, cilantro, parsley, green onions, tarragon, dill, chervil, whatever you can find...cucumbers, and Georgian cheese bread or Georgian cornbread. If I don't make the cheese bread, I also serve it with a good feta. It makes such a wonderful, unusual meal for a cold night!
Not authentic, I think, but I'm going to add some pomegranate seeds for garnish.
Although her spice mixture is more complicated than most in cookbooks....it involves garlic, red pepper, dried fenugreek leaves, paprika, coriander, pepper and dried summer savory, and also shaffran, which is dried marigold petals...I found some other recipes for it on the web and I make it even more complicated by also including dried dill, marjoram, mint, and fenugreek seeds. It takes a while to grind all the spices but I double it and freeze the rest for the next time.
You aredescribin khmekie-suneli,the essential Georgian spice, as wssential as adjika. I can come pretty close to the real thing but not as good as the stuff I bought at a market in Moscow (or at a market in Riga, too). You've put me in the mood to make some kharcho..aand that will lead to Rassolnik and that will lead to salyanka.
This one is pork based. I would NOT substitute any other meat for pork in this recipe. That being said, if you are still looking for a lamb version, please let me know and I will check with cook book. This one I have made numerous times and its always a huge hit!
500gr fatty pork (pork shoulder is good) cut in cubes
· 5 onions finely chopped (I usually use 3-4)
· half a cup of rice OR 50-60gr of small macaronis / pasta
· ½ tsp. ground coriander seeds
· ¼ tsp. of cinnamon
· ¼ tsp. of smashed / ground cloves
· 1 tsp. of Russian spices - mix similar to bouquet garni
· 2-3 cloves of pressed garlic
· 4 steams of each cilantro and parsley
· white wine vinegar to taste (to make it a little sour)
· savory, basil, salt and pepper to taste
Caramelize onions and pork and then simmer well till almost ready in the same pot you are making soup. Boil 7-8 cups of water. Once the meat and onions are well simmered (onions are golden and soft), add boiling water. Bring to boil. Add rice. In 5 minutes, add the rest of spices and vinegar and adjust seasoning. Cook for 15 more minutes. Serve warm