Breakfast of Champions

Malez abourThis isn’t the first thing most of you will think of when you read that phrase.  But this breakfast is the kind of old-country stick-to-your-ribs fare that my Armenian grandparents enjoyed.

Now I make it for any time of day, and always relish it, especially during a winter like this, when you’re always fighiting the elements.

I always think of this as the Armenian version of Chinese jook, or congee.  Same principal: rice cooked well in plenty of liquid, with some protein add-ins.  But jook can be put in a crockpot and cooked all night, whereas malez abour, at least in my family, is usually cooked no more than a half hour.

Malez Abour á la Sam Bahadurian

1/2 pound lean ground lamb, browned and set aside
1 cup rice
5 cups water
3 scrambled eggs (still moist)
Freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste

Cook rice in water until it is very soft, about 20-30 minutes. The mixture should be soupy. Add cooked lamb and scrambled eggs, and simmer a few more minutes, using the flour/water mixture to thicken, if necessary. Serve with plenty of freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste.

Some versions suggest using a little flour mixed with water to thicken this if necessary, but I’ve never thought I needed to do that, the rice releases enough starch to thicken it plenty for me, and if anything I find myself thinning it down with more water near the end, and especially upon reheating leftovers.

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