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Makloubeh

Courtesy of Jenna Kashou

I dedicate this to my Teta (Arabic for grandmother). The rattle from her stack of gold bracelets clanking together, the sweet aroma of onions caramelizing in olive oil, a flickering TV screen always on in the background showing a dramatic Arab soap opera—these are the sounds, smells and sights of my childhood. Azizeh Kashou (1929-2014) raised a family of five and cooked every day for nearly 75 years. Born in Ramallah, Palestine, she prepared traditional Arab fare, heavily laden with allspice and, as often as possible, with lamb. The recipe below is a Kashou family favorite. The Spanish have paella and the Arabs have makloubeh. This rice-based dish with vegetables can be also be made without the meat, but that would just be a mistake. The crowning moment in successfully preparing this recipe is the flip at the very end, so be sure you have a set of strong hands and a sturdy platter.

Ingredients

  • 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced thin
  • 1 medium sized eggplant (optional), peeled and sliced thin 4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 ½ lbs. lamb, cubed (shanks or stew meat)
  • 1 large onion
  • 2
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Fig and Black Olive Stuffed Leg of Lamb With Mint Chimichurri

Courtesy of Chef Karen Bell, Bavette La Boucherie
  • 1 leg of lamb, butterflied
  • 6 tbl olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 1 oz mint, chopped
  • 1 oz basil, chopped
  • 1 oz tarragon, chopped
  • 1 oz chives, chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 8 oz dried figs, chopped
  • 4 oz kalamata olives, chopped
  • 6 oz toasted slivered almonds, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • salt & pepper
  • chicken broth

Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a pan prepare the stuffing by heating the olive oil and add the onion and garlic, cook gently until softened.

Remove from the heat and stir in the breadcrumbs, figs, olives, almonds, lemon zest, herbs and egg. Season with salt and pepper. Set stuffing aside.

Trim away any excess fat from the lamb, pat dry, season with salt and pepper on all sides.

Spread the stuffing evenly on the cut side of the lamb, roll to enclose and tie in several places with kitchen string to secure the stuffing from coming out.

In a large skillet on high heat sear the leg of lamb on all sides about 3-4 minutes on each side and place in a Dutch oven and roast for 1 hour 15 minutes. … Read More

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Raising Lamb, Delivering Locally

Delavan’s Pinn-Oak Ridge Farm doubles as processing hub

Story by Jenna Kashou
Photography by Joe Laedtke

Wearing a tan, canvas baseball cap embroidered with her own logo, Pinn-Oak Ridge Farm owner Darlene Pinnow patiently awaited me at Bavette La Boucherie, the hippest new butcher shop in Milwaukee’s Third Ward.

Darlene sat with her hands neatly folded and a nervous smile on her face – eager to chat, but unsure what to expect. She was slightly out of her element – a country girl in the big city. Pinnow grew up in a farming family; between Darlene and her husband Steve, there are five proud generations of farmers. So when the two married 43 years ago, it was only natural that they buy their own farm.

We had agreed to meet at Bavette because Darlene was there every Thursday to hand-deliver Chef Karen Bell’s order. As she told me about how she got started in this business, I was still trying to grasp the idea that the lamb she was delivering had just been harvested and processed on Monday in Delavan. It was as simple as that: farmers and chefs, working in perfect harmony – with no middleman and no … Read More

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