onion, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch slices
boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed of fat and cubed
uncooked long-grain white rice
finely cut fresh dill
shelled fresh baby lima beans
saffron, crushed and dissolved in 1 tbsp warm water
- In a heavy 3-4 quart casserole, with a tightly fitting lid, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter over a medium heat.
- Add the onions and cook for about 10 minutes or until the slices are browned.
- You will need to stir them often.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove them from the pan and onto a plate.
- Set aside.
- Working in batches, brown the lamb cubes in the remaining fat in the dish.
- As they brown, take them out of the dish and put them on the plate with the onions.
- Pour the 3 cups of water into the casserole and bring it to a boil, scraping to loosen any brown particles clinging to the dish.
- Return the lamb and onion to the dish, add the salt and reduce the heat to low.
- Cover tightly and simmer for about an hour or untilt he lamb is tender and doesn't show any resistance when pierced.
- Transfer the onions, lamb and all the cooking liquid to a large bowl.
- Set the casserole aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a 5-6 quart saucepan.
- Pour in the rice in a slow, thin stream so the water does not stop boiling.
- Stir a couple times and boil for 5 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the dill and lima beans and drain in a fine sieve.
- Ladle about half of the rice mixture into the smaller casserole and moisten it with 1/2 cup of the lamb cooking liquid.
- Then use a spatula or spoon to spread the rice mixture to the edges of the pan.
- Use a slotted spoon to return the lamb and onions to the casserole and smooth them over the rice.
- Spread the remaining rice mixture on top.
- Combine 2 tablespoons of the melted butter with 6 tablespoons of the lamb broth and pour it over the rice.
- Bring the casserole to a boil over high heat.
- Cover tightly and bake on a middle oven shelf for 30-40 minutes or until the beans are tender and rice has absorbed the liquid.
- To serve, spoon about a cup of the rice mixture into a small bowl.
- Add the dissolved saffron and stir until the rice is bright yellow.
- Spread about half the remaining rice on a heated platter and arrange the lamb over it.
- Cover the lamb with the rest of the plain rice and garnish with the saffron rice.
- Pour the remaining 6 tablespoons butter over the top.