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Lebanese Roast Leg of Lamb  - Fakhda bil Forn

This list looks long, but be venturesome, for the length comes from the combination of spices that are probably in your closet. 

  • 3 lb 5 oz leg of lamb
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 tbsp corn oil
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 stick (1/2) cup butter
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 5 small onions, peeled
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 14 oz (2 cups) long-grain rice
  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 lb 2 oz ground lamb
  • 2 beef stock cubes
  • 2 oz (1/3 cup) pine nuts
  • 2 oz (1/3 cup) blanched almonds
  • 2 oz (1/3 cup) pistachios
  • Roasted tomatoes to garnish
 

METHOD

Trim any excess fat from the leg of lamb.  In a bowl, pound the garlic with 1 teaspoon salt and brush the lamb with this paste.

In a separate bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, oregano, 1/4 teaspoon allspice, cinnamon, and black pepper, and brush the lamb with this mixture.  Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 375° F.  Heat the butter in a large frying pan.  Fry the lamb for 5 minutes on each side, then transfer to a baking dish.  Cook in the oven for about 1-1/2 to 2 hours until tender and brown.  Baste occasionally with the juices in the dish.  After 1 hour of cooking, add the whole carrots and small onions.  Remove from the oven and keep the leg of lamb in a warm place, reserving the juices.

To make the sauce, stir the flour into the juices in the baking dish.  Add 16 fl oz (2cups) water and bring to a boil.  Simmer over low heat for 3 minutes.  Strain and set aside.

Thoroughly rinse the rice and soak in warm water for 30 minutes.  In a frying pan, fry the chopped onion in 1 tablespoon butter until golden brown, then stir in the ground lamb and leave over moderate heat until brown.  Season with salt and the remaining allspice, cinnamon, and black pepper.  Add 32 fl oz (4 cups) water, the beef stock cubes, and rice to the pan.  Cover and simmer gently until tender.

Brown the nuts in 2 tablespoons corn oil.  To serve, pour the rice in a serving platter and arrange sliced lamb pieces on top.  Garnish with roasted tomatoes and sprinkle with the nuts.  Serve with the sauce.

Serves: 6

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Reprinted with permission from ©2007, The Middle Eastern Cookbook, New Holland Publishers (UK) Ltd., published in the US by Interlink Books click for book review

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