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Pascal Lamb

olive oil
4 medium onions
2 small onions per person
1 kg lamb shoulder, bone-in; cut in fist-sized chunks
2 pinches of saffron
a walnut-sized lump of gresh ginger, bruised
a bunch of broad-leaf parsley
a handful of raisins
200 g yellow split peas
¼ tsp tumeric
4 dried limes
½ tsp mace or nutmeg
2'' cinnamon stick
a handful of almonds
a spoonful of honey
1½ cups basmati rice
½ stick (2 oz) butter

Soak the split-peas in twice their volume of water, with the tumeric and limes. They can soak for an hour while you cook the lamb.

I dice some onions finely and also add small whole onions, one or two per person.

Fry two diced onions and the lamb until nicely browned. Add small whole onions, a good pinch of saffron, bruised ginger and water to almost cover. Put the parsley stalks on top of the meat (so you can remove them later). Simmer gently, covered, in a low oven for an hour or more, until the lamb is tender.

Fry two more diced onions. Add these onions, cinnamon stick, mace or nutmeg, and a cup of broth from the meat, to the split-peas, and bring to the boil. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Put this also to simmer in the oven, checking occasionally, and adding more liquid if needed.

The meat should still be simmering gently; remove the parsley stalks and add the raisins. Fry the almonds in a little oil until golden brown; chop or smash them coarsely. Add half the almonds, and honey, salt and pepper to taste, to the meat. One or two teaspoons of honey should be plenty.

I cook the rice in the microwave for ten minutes, stirring at half-time.

Prepare the rice, with a pinch of saffron, a knob of butter, and two cups of water. Add the remaining almonds to the rice.

Serve with a dish of chopped parsley.

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