Aug 9, 2011

Al Maslli

This Bahraini Gulf dish has many names and many versions such as Fi Ga'ateh or Mashwi Al Jeder. I have taken an old recipe and made it much easier to make and healthier. In the end you will have the same exact taste and flavors. You will find this recipe being one of the favorites that you will ever cook, its just that type of dish. A beautiful golden roasted leg of lamb with juicy meat, flavorful rice and crispy potatoes and tomatoes all topped with fried onions (Al Farqaah) and sauteed nuts; what is not to love? Give yourself time to cook this recipe about 3-1/2 hours to be exact as the lamb needs to roast for awhile.

small lamb leg

meat paste:
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
dash of ground cinnamon
pinch of turmeric
1 clove
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 small white onion
1 green chili
5 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 beef bullion cube
2 large potatoes, sliced
1 tomato, quartered
1 medium white onion
1/4 cup nuts (almonds and pine nuts)
1/4 cup sunflower oil
3 cups basmati rice, washed

1. Pre-heat oven to 400F. In a food processor add pepper, cinnamon, turmeric, clove, cardamom, onion, chili, butter, salt, lemon juice and ginger. Pulse until paste is formed. Cut small deep incisions into lamb. Place into a roasting pan and rub spice paste all over lamb pushing into slits. Allow to sit for 20 minutes.

2. Place lamb into oven for 15 minutes. Cover top with foil, reduce heat to 350F and allow to cook for one hour. Remove foil, reduce heat to 300F and cook for two more hours. When lamb has only one hour remaining place tomatoes and potatoes into pan mixing with juices. Baste lamb every once in awhile all through the cooking process.

3. In a 9-inch saute pan on medium heat add oil. Slice onion into small strips and add into hot oil allowing to fry until golden. Drain on a paper towel. Fry nuts in remaining oil until golden. Reserve pan oil.

4. In a 2-1/2 quart sauce pan add 3 tablespoons of oil from lamb roast and 2 tablespoons from fried onion oil. Add rice and enough water that comes 1-inch over top of rice, add bullion cube. Bring to a full boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Allow to sit for 20-30 minutes until rice has holes on the top, do not uncover while cooking.

5. Add rice into serving platter, place lamb roast on top, add potatoes and tomatoes around the roast. Spoon leftover lamb juice on top of roast and rice. Sprinkle the fried nuts and onions around the rice. Serve.

Yields: 4-6 servings

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