LAMB MAQLOUBEH

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Serves: 6-8

500g SpinneysFOOD Long-Grain Basmati Rice
700g aubergines
3 tsp SpinneysFOOD Fine Salt
500g potatoes
4 tbsp SpinneysFOOD Pure Sunflower Oil

For the lamb
3 tbsp SpinneysFOOD Pure Sunflower Oil
700g lamb shoulder cubed
750ml SpinneysFOOD Bottled Drinking Water
4 SpinneysFOOD Cardamom Pods
3 SpinneysFOOD Bay Leaves
6 SpinneysFOOD Whole Black Peppercorns
4 whole cloves
½ tsp SpinneysFOOD Fine Turmeric
4 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp SpinneysFOOD Fine Salt
1 tbsp SpinneysFOOD Black Peppercorns

For the rice
2 large leeks
1 large red capsicum
4 tbsp SpinneysFOOD Pure Sunflower Oil
3 plum tomatoes

To serve
50g double-cream yoghurt
10g SpinneysFOOD Fresh Coriander

1 Soak the rice in water for at least 1 hour.
2 Preheat the oven to 230°C, gas mark 8.
3 Slice the aubergine into 2½cm thick rounds and season well with 2 tsp of salt. Set aside for 30 minutes.
4 Wash the potatoes and slice them into 2cm thick rounds.
5 Place the aubergine and potato rounds on a baking tray, drizzle with the sunflower oil and season with the remaining salt. Place the tray in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until tender and golden.
6 To make the lamb, heat the oil over a high heat in a medium pot and sear the lamb cubes until golden on either side, approx. 5 minutes. Add the water along with the whole spices and cook for 20-30 minutes, or until tender.
7 To make the rice, rinse the leeks and cut them in half. Then finely slice the leeks and  red capsicum.
8 Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a medium-sized pan and sauté the leeks and capsicum until tender, approx. 10 minutes. Season well and set aside.
9 Once the lamb is cooked, strain the stock into a large jug or bowl and remove the spices. Top up the stock with enough water to bring it to 900ml and stir in the turmeric, tomato paste, salt and black pepper.
10 Wash the rice several times until the water runs clear. Drain it and set aside. 
11 Slice the plum tomatoes into 1½cm thick rounds.
12 To layer the maqloubeh, start by adding 2 tbsp of oil to the bottom of the pot, layer the aubergines to cover the base of the pot, then add the tomato slices, followed by the potato, meat, leeks and capsicum, then the uncooked rice.
13 Pat the rice down firmly, then pour the stock on top. Pat down again using a wooden spoon to ensure the stock is fully covering the rice. If there isn’t enough liquid to cover the rice, top it up with water.
14 Place the pot on a medium high heat and bring to a boil, lower the heat and cover it  with a tea towel and tight-fitting lid. Cook  for 50 minutes.
15 Take the pot off the heat and set aside, lid on, to rest for 10 minutes.
16 Remove the lid from the pot and place your serving dish on top, then flip the pot onto the plate. Lift the pot very slowly to help keep it intact.
17 Serve with the yoghurt and roughly torn coriander

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