This is truly a delightful yet traditional Arabic meal. The spices and the soft lamb will send you straight to your own private bliss. The long cooking of the lamb is truly the secret to perfect lamb.

2 shoulder’s of lamb, cubed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons oil
1 onion, quartered
1 tablespoon garlic

2-1/2 cups basmati rice
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 pound ground beef
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
4-1/4 cups lamb or chicken stock
1/3 cup almonds, sliced
1/3 cup pine nuts

1. Preheat oven to 425F. Rub cinnamon, allspice, cumin, cardamom, salt and pepper all over lamb with the oil. Place in a roasting pan and place into oven. After 20 minutes remove pan from oven and cover lamb with water, add onion and garlic. Cover the top with foil and place back into the oven reducing oven to 300F. Allow to cook for 3-1/2 hours.

2. RICE: In a 9 inch skillet add ground beef and onions, cook until no longer pink. In a 4-quart sauce pan add oil, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and cloves. Add rice and pour in boiling stock so that 1 inch of stock covers top of rice. Raise rice to a full boil then reduce to low for 10 minutes. Do not remove lid.

3. In a small skillet on medium heat add pine nuts and almonds until golden. Set aside.

4. In a large serving platter add rice, lamb and decorate top with nuts.

Yields: 12 servings

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