Recipe for Mezza Bishurba (Lamb Shanks With Tomato Soup)


4 lamb shanks; lean & meaty,
1 ; each about 3/4 pound
2 quart water
12 medium tomato; fresh, ripe, peeled,
1 ; seeded and coarsely chopp
1 ; or 4 cups chopped, draine
1 ; canned tomatoes
1/2 cup onion; finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg; fresh ground
1 ; preferred
2 teaspoon salt
1 black pepper; freshly ground
1/2 cup long grain rice, raw; or
1 ; medium grain rice


In a heavy 8 to 10 quart pot, blanch the lamb shanks by covering them with cold water, bringing it to a boil over high heat and boiling briskly for 1 minute. Drain the lamb at once and, under cold running water, wash away any accumulated scum. Wash the pot, return the lamb to it, and add 2 quarts of fresh cold water. The water should cover the meat by at least 2 inches; if necessary, add more. Bring to a boil over high heat, meanwhile skimming off any foam and scum as they rise to the surface. Reduce the heat to low, partially cover the pot and simmer for 1 hour. Stir in the tomatoes, onions, nutmeg, salt and a few grindings of pepper, partially cover the pot again and simmer for 30 minutes longer. Then add the rice and cook tightly covered for 20 minutes, or until the lamb and rice are tender. Taste for seasoning, and serve at once from large heated soup plates.

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