Ingredients (notes on ratios below)
- Lamb with bone in (I used a 1.8kg leg. Shanks would also work very well)
- Laban or yoghurt
- chicken or vegetable stock
- shawarma spice (my recipe at end if you want to mix your own)
- olive oil or ghee for browning meat
- lemon juice
- salt and pepper
- rice cooked with a pinch of saffron threads (in the rice-cooker)
- coriander (cilantro) leaves and toasted nuts (pine nuts and slithered almonds work well) to garnish
- Preheat oven to 140°C, then brown lamb over a high heat on the stove. When cool enough rub with shawarma spice and salt, then place in an oven pan large enough to enclose meat.
- Mix enough yoghurt (laban) and stock to surround meat at least to halfway, then cover and put in the oven. Leave it for 2 1/2 hours, then turn it, then leave for another 2 1/2 hours.
- Take cooked rice and arrange on a large dish, then place meat pieces over it and scatter with coriander and toasted nuts.
- Blend yoghurt sauce if necessary (tends to congeal a little), adding lemon juice, salt and pepper for flavour), then pour half over the dish, and reserve half in a bowl or jug for individual portions.
|picture from hummus-recipes.blogspot.com|
It’s not a pretty dish (hence my picture concentrating on the yoghurt sauce) – the nicest one I found on the web was this one to the right, which also includes the traditional preparation, unlike my slapdash version above.
If using yoghurt, 1 part yoghurt to two parts stock, but laban is thinner – one-to-one works better. I needed 500ml of laban and 500 of stock to surround my lamb leg, which I placed in a regular roasting pan, then covered with 4 well-sealed layers of foil.
If you’ve read previous postings, you will know that my household is now casein (milk protein) free, so that makes yoghurt a little difficult to include. Traditionally, it is made with jameed, a dried yoghurt, which is then re-hydrated to provide the sauce and trap the natural liquids of the meat. For our family, it’s not only a banned item, but almost impossible to find anyway. You can make it yourself, but that’s a journey for another time for me. I used camel laban (no bad casein), but this could be easily changed for regular natural yoghurt or laban (soured milk like drinking yoghurt).
I used Egyptian rice, a fat, absorbent rice like calrose. It is much more suitable than a long grain rice like basmati, as it softens up beautifully.
This is not a Jordanian Mansaf recipe, but a variation for my own kitchen inspired by recent tastings in Jordan. It is not quite as tangy or gamey in flavour as the traditional version, but I would suggest, much easier.
Shawarma Spice mix:
- 1 tbsp. cumin
- 1 tbsp. ground coriander
- 1 tbsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. cardamom
- 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
- 1 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Tastes better if you use whole spices and toast them a little then grind them, but using fresh ground spices is a whole lot easier.