Stuffed Neck of Lamb


        1 neck of lamb
        1 1/2 cups ground beef or lamb
        3/4 cup rice
        1 1/2 tsp. salt
        1/2tsp. pepper
        1/2 tsp. cinnamon
        1/2 cup chopped tomato (optional)
        1/2 cup pine nuts
        1 small cinnamon stick
        1/4 cup chopped parsley
        3 cups water
Have butcher slit the lamb's neck so that it can be stuffed. Wash and drain rice. Mix together well the chopped meat, rice, seasonings, pine nuts and chopped tomato. Bind with half cup water. Stuff mixture into neck cavity and sew up with heavy thread. Place in pan with enough salted water to cover. Bring to boil and skim. The meat may now be placed in the pressure cooker with three cups of water and cooked under pressure for 45 minutes, or it may be stewed gently for several hours in the kettle. When tender, remove meat from broth. Cook an additional half cup rice in the broth to make a soup to be served as a first course. Spread the boiled meat with samneh and brown in a moderate oven. Slice and arrange on a serving platter. Serve with a side dish of laban. The rice soup will be served before the meat, with chopped parsley and cinnamon sprinkled over it. The stuffing may be removed from the neck and served separately.

The raqbeh could be served either way :

l ) Only stuffed and boiled is the Lebanese way and served with the soup, or

2) Boiled and browned in the Syrian way.

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