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Considered the national dish of the United Arab Emirates, khuzi is made up of roast lamb or goat served on top of a bed of deliciously spiced rice, often tossed with assorted nuts and finished with vegetables.




for the lamb

1 shoulder of lamb (3 to 5 pounds), boneless, trimmed of fat, and butterfly cut, bones reserved


Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


3 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled


5 cloves of garlic


2 pinches of saffron


4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil


2 medium yellow onions, chopped


6 cardamom pods


4 whole cloves


3 bay leaves


2 cinnamon sticks


1 tablespoon black peppercorns


1/4 cup ghee, melted


2 tablespoons tomato paste


For the Rice and Potatoes

2 cups basmati rice


1 pound fingerling potatoes, cut in half if large


6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil


Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


Zest of 1 navel orange, plus 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice


1 tablespoon whole wheat Dijon mustard


1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar


2 cups of baby arugula


1/2 cup dried currants


1/2 cup chopped pistachios


Clementines, in halves and whole, to decorate



Make the lamb: pat the lamb dry; season generously with salt and pepper. Grate 2 1/2 inches of ginger and 2 cloves of garlic into a small bowl. Add 1 pinch of saffron, then rub the mixture evenly over the inside of the lamb. Roll up the lamb, fat on the outside, and secure with kitchen twine. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a Dutch oven or other large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the lamb bones and cook until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Add lamb and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes; transfer to the plate together with the bones. Wipe off any remaining grease with a paper towel.

Add the onions and the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the pot and cook until golden brown and soft, 10 to 12 minutes. Crush the remaining 3 cloves of garlic, slice the remaining 1-inch ginger, and add both to the pot along with the lamb bones and meat, cardamom, cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon, peppercorns, and the remaining pinch of saffron. Add enough water to cover the lamb. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until lamb is almost tender about 2 hours. Discard the bones.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Transfer the lamb to a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan. Strain the cooking liquid and reserve. Combine the ghee and tomato paste and season with salt. Spread the ghee mixture all over the lamb, then roast, basting occasionally with juices, until tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Prepare the rice and potatoes: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Put the rice in a bowl and add enough water to cover. Shake the water to rinse the rice and drain. Repeat the process 3 to 4 more times until the water is clear. Cover the rice with clean water and let it soak for 30 minutes, then drain.

On a rimmed baking sheet, toss potatoes with 2 tablespoons of oil; Spice with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer and grill, stirring halfway through, until potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 30 minutes. Before serving, reheat potatoes in a 325-degree oven, if necessary.

Meanwhile, add the rice to a large saucepan along with 3 1/2 cups of the reserved lamb cooking liquid. Season well with salt. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer until rice is tender about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

In a small bowl, combine orange zest and juice. Add mustard, vinegar, and the remaining 4 tablespoons of oil; Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle dressing over arugula and toss to combine.

To serve, transfer the rice to a large plate. Arrange potatoes over rice and top with arugula mixture. Arrange the lamb in the center of the plate and sprinkle the currants and pistachios on top. Garnish the plate with clementines. Serve with the rest of the reserved lamb cooking liquid on the side.

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