I think I could make the argument that lamb is the most underrated food out there. Yes, not just most underrated meat, but most underrated food (here in North America at least. Many other countries quite sensibly eat a lot of lamb, because it’s delicious). Prepared well, it’s super tender, and jam-packed with enough flavour to put even a really good-quality piece of beef to shame. What’s not to love?
I guess Syria is one of those sensible, lamb-loving countries, and if this dish is anything to go by, they’re eating pretty well. They’re also going through some not-so-great times right now, but that falls way outside of the purview of this blog, so… lamb.
I actually discovered this place thanks to an article in the Toronto Star, which described the Lamb and Rice as follows: “The fat is so soft you could spread it on toast for breakfast. The meat and rice are perfumed with the spices, none of them competing with the intensity of the flesh.”
It’s really good. The article nails it; it’s perfectly spiced, but the star of the show is clearly that tender, immensely flavourful lamb. A knife is provided, but the meat is so perfectly tender that it’s barely even necessary.
The rice is cooked with the lamb stock, which infuses it with so much great flavour. The slivered almonds on top add crunch, and the small plate of very rich plain yogurt helps to cut through the richness. It’s a fairly no-frills dish, but man, it’s so good. In the case that the simplest dishes are often the best, this would be exhibit A.