Lamb with Spinach

I’ve adapted a dish that Clifford A. Wright, in A Mediterranean Feast (1999), calls Sabānikh bi’l-Laḥm, which he says is from Syria (p. 120).

  • 2 lbs frozen spinach
  • bunch of cilantro
  • unsalted butter
  • 1/2 to 1 lb lamb cubes, cleaned of excess fat
  • 3/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 grinds of fresh nutmeg
  • salt to taste

Melt spinach (microwave works well), and squeeze out excess liquid. Roughly chop; set aside.

Cut root ends off cilantro and fine chop or puree the tops (including soft stems) in food processor. The amount should be on the order of 1 cup, but you could adjust this amount up or down to taste, but there should be “lots.”

In deep skillet or large saucepan, add butter and brown cubes of lamb (may have to do this in two batches). To browned lamb, add fine-chopped cilantro and spices. Add a bit of stock or water; cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until lamb is almost tender.

Stir in chopped spinach and simmer another 5-10 minutes. Salt and pepper as needed.

Feel free to adjust the ratios of cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg.