Lamb with Green Wheat (Frika Lahma)
Recipe type: Lamb or Mutton
Serves: 4
  • 2 pounds bone-in leg of lamb; trimmed of fat
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground allspice
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 Tablespoon clarified butter
  • 1 small finely-chopped onion
  • 3 1/2 Cups boiling beef broth or boiling water
  • 2 Cups green wheat (farik); picked over, and rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baharat; (see Recipe)
  • 3 Tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 Cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 sliced green tomato; (optional)
  1. Rub lamb all over with salt, pepper and allspice. Coat with film of olive oil and roast at 325 degrees until very tender and falling off bone, about 4 hours.
  2. About 1 hour 15 minutes before lamb is done, heat 4 tablespoons clarified butter in heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, then add onion and cook until golden, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes. Carefully add boiling broth or water (both may splatter) and return to boil. Add green wheat, 1 teaspoon salt, coriander and Baharat, cover and cook 5 minutes over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and cook 15 minutes, covered. Reduce heat to very low and cook until liquid is almost absorbed, about 15 minutes more. Place heat diffuser under pot or turn heat to very, very low and leave farik for 30 minutes, covered. Turn off heat, place paper towel over top of pan under lid, and leave until lamb has finished roasting in oven, about 15 minutes more.
  3. Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon clarified butter in small pan over medium-high heat and cook pine nuts, shaking pan almost constantly, until golden, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Bring small pot of lightly salted water to boil and cook peas until tender, 10 to 12 minutes for fresh and 3 to 4 minutes for frozen. Set aside and keep warm until farik and lamb are done.
  5. Season farik with black pepper to taste and stir. Remove lamb from oven. Remove meat from bone and pull into serving-size chunks with fork. Mound farik attractively on serving platter. Using slotted ladle, arrange peas on top of farik. Place meat on top and sprinkle pine nuts over. Serve with green tomato slices as garnish, if desired.
Farik or farikeh is wheat harvested when the stalks are still green and then toasted to dry it and remove the chaff. If you can't get farik, substitute bulgur, but cook it only until reconstituted and drain it well.

This recipe yields 4 servings.

Each serving: 751 calories; 348 mg sodium; 126 mg cholesterol; 33 grams fat; 73 grams carbohydrates; 47 grams protein; 3.12 grams fiber

NOTES: Recipe from "A Mediterranean Feast: The Story of the Birth of the Celebrated Cuisines of the Mediterranean" by Clifford Wright (William Morrow).
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