This is the third installment in a series we’re calling “things Nathan ate in Saudi Arabia.” His trip proved to be very valuable for Rampant Cuisine as it inspired us to make Baklava, Sambousek, and now…Hashweh. Hashweh (our version at least!) is essentially rice seasoned with cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg and then mixed with chopped chicken. Usually ground lamb is also mixed throughout but the version Nathan had in Saudi was topped with slow cooked lamb so we decided to go with that version…it felt a bit fancier! This is a very simple dish…we almost felt weird about how quickly everything came together since normally we aren’t finished with our posts until around 9pm. However, for such a simple dish it is surprisingly complex and delicious. The rice is fragrant and exotic and when combined with the tender meat, the smoky gravy, crunchy almonds, and cool lemony yogurt it is an explosion of texture and flavor. It’s too bad Hashweh isn’t more well known in the States because it’s a quick and comforting dish that is easy and adaptable…even for a weeknight!
I don’t know how else to say it…this wine was perfect with the Hashweh. Granted, the hashweh is not a difficult dish to pair with a wine but this one just hit all the right notes! It was light yet rich and juicy with hints of blackberry, plum, red cherry, herbs and a bit of spice. The spice in the hashweh married perfectly with the spice in the wine and the fruitiness of the wine was a luscious complement to the rich lamb. Amazing!
When cooking with rich spices and meats like the lamb and cinnamon pilsners and light lagers are one of the best options when it comes to beer pairings. Nooner Pilsner was a great pairing as it was light enough to wash down the rich dish but had just enough hop bitterness and spice to make it interesting. The beer also has a nice crisp and dry finish which washes everything down nicely.
Serves 2 (You’ll probably have some lamb chops leftover!)
For the lamb and gravy:
Adapted from this recipe
1 rack of lamb
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
¾ cup red wine
1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees
2. Mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Set the lamb on a large sheet of foil.
3. Massage the marinade all over the lamb rack. Wrap the lamb tightly in the foil using two pieces to make sure it’s well sealed. Place the lamb on a small baking sheet and bake
on the middle oven rack for 4 hours. Remove lamb from oven and drain juice into a bowl.
4. Boil wine down to approximately 3-4 tablespoons. Add lamb drippings and reduce until the gravy is thick and rich…season to taste with salt and pepper.
For the Hashweh:
Adapted from this recipe
1 cup chopped chicken from a store bought rotisserie chicken
1 ¾ cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup white rice (such as Jasmine)
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp allspice
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ cup of plain greek yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Dash of salt and pepper
Parsley, for garnish
Sliced almonds, for garnish
1. Cook rice with butter, salt according to package directions, using chicken broth instead of water. We used our rice cooker!
2. When rice is done add cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg to rice and stir well. Add the chicken to the rice mixture.
3. In a small bowl combine yogurt, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Spoon the rice mixture onto plates and top with 1-2 lamb chops, gravy, sliced almonds, parsley, and lemon yogurt.