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Author Notes: When I was a senior in college, I spent an Urban Semester in Philadelphia. We had to find our own living arrangement, and I ended up in a communal household in West Philadelphia with a couple, their toddler, a single mom and her nine year old, and a single middle aged man. We traded off cooking and my first meal for my "family" was Lamb and Apricot Polo, based loosely on Claudia Roden's recipe from the classic Middle Eastern Food (how I love that book). When it was served up, I guess it looked a little underwhelming but then Molly, the single mother, dived in and said: 'Meg, this has fruit! It's delicious!" And it is. —luvcookbooks
- 3 pounds lamb neck, on the bone
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
- 3 sliced onions
- 2 cloves chopped garlic
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3/4 cup California dried apricots, cut up
- handful chopped parsley
- 3 tablespoons chopped toasted almonds
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Mix the meat with the spices, salt and pepper. Let sit, in refrigerator if for more than an hour or so. Overnight or 24 hrs is ideal. Two minutes will work.
- Melt the onions in the butter til soft. Add the garlic and cinnamon stick and stir over low heat for a minute or two.
- Turn the heat up and push the onions and garlic to the side of the pan. Over medium heat, brown the lamb neck on all sides until colored.
- Add two cups of water (stock is nice if you have it). Bring to a boil, cover, and braise over low heat for an hour. Add the apricots and braise for an additional 30-60 minutes until the lamb is soft. There should be only a bit of liquid left. If the dish starts to stick, add more liquid but only a cup at a time. Your house will smell delicious.
- Transfer the polo to a platter and top with parsley and almonds. Serve with buttered noodles or rice. If you have time to be fancy, you can take the meat off the bone and cook it with the rice into a beautiful Persian buttered rice dish, but that's another recipe. Enjoy!