Cracked Wheat with Meat


Make this nourishing stew by the regular top of the stove method, or use the pressure cooker and shorten cooking time considerably.
        1/2 cup hummus (chick peas)
        12 small white onions
        2 cups burghul (cracked wheat)
        2 cups stew meat, cut into cubes
        1 cup samneh (or other shortening)
        1 1/2 tsp. salt
        1/2 tsp. cinnamon
        2 1/2 cups water
        Several bones
Soak hummus overnight in enough water to cover. Peel onions and leave whole. Fry meat and bones in half the samneh until brown. Remove meat and fry onions in same fat until yellow. Cook the soaked hummus in enough fresh water to cover in pressure cooker for 15 minutes. Remove. Place meat, bones, salt and water in pressure cooker and cook under pressure for 30 minutes. Reduce pressure. Add onions and cook five minutes longer under pressure. Remove meat and some of the onions from the stew to use as garnish at serving time. To the remainder add the hummus and burghul. Stew gently, uncovered, until hummus andburghul are tender. Add more water if necessary to keep from burning. Consistency should be like thick porridge. Season to taste. Spoon onto serving platter. Melt remaining half of samneh and pour over the stew. Garnish with reserved meat and onions. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Serve laban sauce.

Cook this dish in an open pan as follows. Brown meat and bones in half the fat. Remove and cook onions in same fat until yeliow. Add water, meat, and hummus and simmer until meat and hummus are tender. Remove some of meat and onions. Add burghul. Proceed as above. Or, meat may be brought to a boil in an open kettle. Skim off foam. Add fried onion and hummus. Remove onions when they become tender. Add burghul last. Serve with melted samneh mixed well into the finished stew.

(From Food from the Arab World Marie Karam Khayat and Margaret Clark Keatinge, Khayat's, Beirut 1959)