The MeatCart - August 2020

Lamb Makloubeh

Makhloubeh means upside down dish. We discovered this recipe from the recipe book "Simply Lebanese" by Inaam Atalla and over the years, it has become a family favorite. This is a dish that you want to prepare for a dinner party and for a fairly large group. It does take a bit of time to prepare but it is worth it. The Lamb meat in there is complemented with spices such as saffron, nutmeg and pomegranate syrup. We have used lamb shoulder in this recipe but it works just as well with lamb shanks.


Preparation time: 40 mins

Cooking time: 1-1.5 hours

  • 2kg Shoulder of Lamb cut into cubes 
  • 1 large onion peeled and sliced
  • 8 whole black peppercorns
  • 4 whole cardamon pods
  • 4 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp crushed coriander spice
  • 1 large cinnamon stick
  • 3 tsp crushed garlic
  • 3tsp crushed ginger
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp ground all spice
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp saffron
  • 2 tbsp pomengranate syrup 
  • 2.5 cups rice soaked in 750ml boiing water for 5 mins
  • 100g ghee
  • 2 large aubergines, thickly sliced- soaked in salted water for 30mins
  • 6 tomatoes cut in 3 circles
  • 3 medium sized potatoes thickly sliced
  • 1 tsp ground cardamon


  • In a heated pan, add the ghee, followed by the sliced onion. Once onion is soft, add the ginger, garlic, half (2tsp) salt and the meat. Let the meat brown (5-10mins) whilst stirring.
  • Add the peppercorns,cardamon pods, cinamon stick and water to the meat. Bring to boil and simmer for 40-50mins or until the meat is soft. 
  • Meanwhile, pan fry the tomatoes, aubergines and potatoes. The potatoes will be slightly browned or half cooked. The aubergines will take 4mins on each side. The tomatoes about 3 mins on each side.
  • Use a 28cm deep dish for this last step. 
  • Once the meat is cooked, drain the meat and reserve the stock. Layer the lamb pieces on the base (in a circle) followed by the fried aubergines, potatoes and tomatoes. Leave a round gap in the middle. 
  • Add the remaining salt, allspice, nutmeg, ground cardamon and saffron. Add the lamb stock and pomegranade syrup. Finally, add the lamb stock and fill the gap with rice. Add 1 extra tsp of salt at this stage. Cook for 10 mins on high heat covered. 
  • Lower the heat and simmer for 10-15mins until all the stock has been absorbed and the rice is cooked. Alternatively, place in a pre-heated oven at 150 degrees for 20 mins. 
  • Once cooked, leave the pot to stand for 20 mins. 
  • As a grand finale, just before serving, turn the pot upside down on a tray. Sprinkle pine nuts and cranberries if you have.