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Makes 6-8 servings
Preheat Cru or conventional oven to 450°F.
For the lamb:
Prepare the lamb by seasoning with salt and pepper.
Pour olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat, then sear lamb pieces until brown on all sides - you might have to do this in batches. Add tomato paste and caramelize. Pour in beef stock and mix well. Add all the spices and simmer until lamb is tender, about 1 hour. After lamb has cooked, remove whole spices and bay leaves and discard. Take lamb pieces out and reserve cooking stock.
For the eggplant and potatoes:
Place eggplant and potato slices onto cast iron baking pan (if using Cru oven). Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. For the Cru oven, bake for about 15 minutes, or until soft and caramelized. For a conventional oven, bake for 30 minutes. Once cooked, set aside.
For the onion and pepper layer:
Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet. If using the Cru, place peppers and onions in the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cook in the Cru until soft, about 5 minutes. Once cooked, set aside.
For the Maqluba assembly:
Using a 10” cast iron dutch oven, greased, lay tomato slices in a single layer at the bottom. This is going to be the eventual top, so feel free to be creative and decorative. Next, place the eggplant slices on top of the tomatoes, then the potatoes on top of the eggplant. Then place the lamb on top of the potatoes, then the onions and peppers. Lastly, spread the basmati rice on top of the meat. Pour the stock and additional water to cover the rice.
Cover the dutch oven and place in the Cru oven, heated to about 350°F - 400°F, and cook for 40 minutes, or until rice is cooked, rotating pan every 10 minutes.
Once cooked, let maqluba sit for 10 minutes to settle. Then, uncover and place platter on the dutch oven. Carefully flip onto platter. Enjoy by itself or with manakeesh, a fresh salad, and tahini sauce.