Stuffed Baby Lamb


        1 16-20 lbs. spring lamb
        4 cups ground lamb
        5 cups rice, washed and drained
        2 cups mixed pistachio, pine nuts and almonds
        1 1/4 tsp. black pepper
        2 Tbsp. salt (or to taste)
        3 cups samneh (or other shortening)
The question of which is better, the meat or the stuffing, has yet to be decided in this case, for both are delicious.

Blanch almonds and pistachios. Slip off their skins. Fry ground meat in smoking hot samneh until no longer pink. Add all the nuts and fry with meat until toasted. Add rice, salt, pepper and water. Stir gently. Cover and cook over low fire until rice is tender and water is absorbed. Meanwhile, prepare lamb by rubbing it inside and out with salt and pepper. Correct seasoning of stuffing and when it is cool, stuff the lamb with it. Sew the opening with heavy thread. Tie feet together in pairs. Boil the stuffed lamb in a large kettle with enough water to cover well. Skim.

When done, the meat will feel soft and tender when pressed between the fingers. This will take several hours. Remove lamb from water and place in a large roasting pan. Coat with samneh or butter and laban for a nice glaze. Roast in moderate oven until nicely browned, basting frequently with its own broth. Serve on a large platter garnishing with parsley. Pass laban and gravy made with the pan drippings, thickened with flour and water. Fresh salad and vegetables cooked in oil are usually served with qouzi.

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