by Daniel Rogov
Soak the chickpeas overnight in a large amount of lightly salted water. Drain the chickpeas well, and cook in lightly salted water until they are nearly soft.
Cut the mutton off the bone and then into cubes. Cut the pastrami into cubes as well.
In a large heavy saucepan, melt the chicken fat and saute the onions until they are translucent. Add the mutton and pastrami cubes and brown well on both sides. Add the tomatoes, garlic, thyme, basil, bay leaves and salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the grape juice, rapidly bring to the boil and immediately lower the heat, cover the skillet and simmer very gently until the meat is tender (about 2 hours).
When the mutton is nearly ready, transfer the mixture to an ovenproof casserole, add the chickpeas, correct the seasoning and sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top. Place in a slow oven until a slight crust has formed on the top (about 1 hour). Serve hot.
* I have substituted fatty pastrami for the more traditional fatty parts of sheep intestine.
Daniel Rogov is the restaurant and wine critic for the daily newspaper Ha'aretz. He is also the senior writer for Wine and Gourmet Magazine and contributes culinary and wine articles to newspapers in Europe and the United States.
Source: Israeli Foreign Ministry and Rogov's Ramblings. Reprinted with permission.