From Beirut to London in 100 Dishes

Loubieh bil Lahme – Green Beans with Lamb Chops

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This is getting down to the real basics of Lebanese food.  The combination of vegetables with meat and rice is a staple that every Lebanese home plays variations on throughout the working week.  They are not the most glamorous of dishes but they’re healthy and the ingredients are always available and fresh.  Sometimes during the war, there was no bread,  but we never ran short of beans, spinach or rice.   This is not the kind of dish you would necessarily order at a restaurant,  but I find it deeply satisfying and nutritious.  It’s unpretentious but strangely evocative for me and  I would imagine many of the millions of Lebanese living around the world — as it is one of the tastes most closely associated with our day to day lives back home.

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Ingredients

2 pounds of green runner beans

6 lamb chops

1 large spoon of olive oil for the lamb

1/4 tea spoon of salt

1/4 tea spoon of pepper

1 large spoon of vegetable oil

1 large onion peeled and diced

2 glasses of hot water 

1 chicken stock cube

1 lemon juiced

2 large spoons of sun dried tomato paste

2 large tomatoes chopped

1/2 tea spoon of cinnamon

1/2 tea spoon of salt 

1/4 tea spoon of black pepper

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  • Put the lamb chops on a baking tray and season with salt and pepper.
  • Brush with olive oil and cook under the grill for 10 minutes or until slightly golden on both sides.
  • Meanwhile in a large pot, heat the vegetable oil and fry the diced onion until slightly golden.
  • Top and tail the green beans, cut in two and add to the onions, shallow fry for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Then add the lamb chops, hot water, chicken stock, lemon juice, sun dried tomato, diced tomatoes, cinnamon salt and pepper.
  • Stir and cover the pot with the lid and leave to simmer for 30 minutes or until beans are tender.
  • Serve hot on a bed of vermicelli rice.
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