In any Lebanese home, eating together and sharing plates of food is part of everyday life, even for simple meals there are often many different dishes laid out. Lamb is often the meat of choice and this recipe is designed to be shared at large gatherings. Make sure you allow time to marinate the lamb overnight for the best result.
- 1 small whole lamb
- 250 g ghee, melted
- salt and pepper
- 100 g cinnamon
- 10 garlic cloves, finely diced and crushed with sea salt
- bay leaves
- 1 kg long grain or basmati rice
- 250 g ghee
- 1 cup whole almonds
- 1 cup pistachios
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground nutmeg
- white pepper
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Marinating time: overnight if possible
Soaking time: 30 minutes
You will need to begin this recipe 1 day ahead, if possible.
To marinate the lamb, brush the lamb with ghee, rub with salt and black pepper inside and out. Dust liberally with cinnamon and the diced, salted garlic. Refrigerate to marinate, overnight if possible.
To make the rice stuffing, soak the rice in salted water for 30 minutes. Drain and cook in a saucepan of boiling water until partially cooked. Drain and set aside.
Melt the ghee in a saucepan over low heat, then and add the nuts and spices. Add the partially cooked rice and stir to coat. Fill the cavity of the lamb and sew it up.
Preheat an oven to 225°C. Cover lamb with a few bay leaves and cook for about 1 hour per kilo or until the lamb is tender.