To prepare the rice
Preheat the olive oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add the ground meat and cook while breaking it into small, minced pieces. Once it is browned, add 2 tablespoons butter, the salt, spices, and the rice. Mix well to coat the grains of rice.
Add 2-1/2 cups hot reserved broth, increase the heat to high, and bring the mixture to a rolling boil, uncovered. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until the moisture is absorbed. Remove from the heat and set aside covered for 20 minutes.
Fluff with a fork before serving. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the three kinds of nuts in separate rows on a foil-lined baking sheet and toast in the center of the oven, shaking the pan occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until they turn golden brown. Drizzle 1 tablespoon melted butter evenly over the nuts and mix well, coating them with butter. Transfer them to a paper towel–lined dish to cool, uncovered. Set aside.
Heat the meat and the rice. Spread the rice over a platter, then arrange the pieces of meat around the perimeter of the rice. Scatter the room-temperature toasted nuts in the center. Sprinkle some cinnamon over the pieces of meat, and serve. Offer with Pita Crouton Salad with Sumak Dressing (page 60) or Yogurt-Cucumber Salad (page 63).
Recipe from CLASSIC LEBANESE CUISINE by Kamal Al-Faqih
(Three Forks, September 2009, $24.95/hardcover)
A set of Yellow Trellis Hand Painted Pot de Creme cups made in France.