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The first time I made Albanian Baked Leeks (Tavë me Presh) here in the UK, it was a big hit and I instantly re-connected with the tastes of the one I’ve had only a handful of times in Albania (we have Lakror me Pras more often).
With a natural sweetness to the dish, the leeks are slowly baked with lamb mince and roasted peppers. Full of flavour and softness this is great as a dish on it’s own or served with mashed potato.
Optionally you can add rice to this dish, you will need 150g-200g and will need to be added during step 4 after the meat is browned.
Something to point out that took me a little while to understand is that the Albanian word for leeks is ‘Pras’ – that’s the official translation however, in the north as part of their dialect they use ‘Presh’ which is also used for the word onion, leeks are part of the onion family. When you recipes using the word Presh it is referring to leeks. Onion recipes use the official word which is Qepë for example Tavë me Qepë. Yup, I know so much to understand but it’s all part of the fun.
Prepare the leeks
Fry the leeks in a small dash of olive oil for a few minutes until they start to brown.
Scatter the leeks over a large baking dish with a depth of 2-3 inches.
Prepare the dish
Add a bit more olive oil to the same pan you cooked the leeks in and then fry the onions for 2 minutes.
Add the mince and cook until browned. Add the roasted red peppers, garlic, lamb stock, salt, pepper and paprika. Give it a good stir and leave it to come to the boil. Leave to boil for 2 minutes.
Pour the mixture into the baking try with the leeks and mixture together thoroughly.
Place on the bottom self of a preheated oven at 180 degrees. Leave to bake for 1 hour.