12 zucchini squash ( medium sized, 6 to 7 inches long)
1 C brown rice ( parboil for 15 minutes)
1 1/2 lb (3 C) coarse-ground leg of lamb
1 T salt
1/2 t pepper
1/2 C water
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 large yellow onion
3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
2 (8oz) cans tomato sauce
1 (16oz) cans sliced stewed tomatoes
1 cube butter
1/4 C parsley flakes
1 T ground allspice
1 T ground cumin
4 T fresh minced garlic
Wash zucchini; slice off stem ends and discard. With an apple corer, carefully hollow out the centers leaving 1/4 inch thick shells.
If you have a meat grinder you can grind your own lamb. Remove the skin and fat from shoulder or leg of lamb. Be sure to remove as much of the connective tissue between the muscle as possible. Slice up the lamb in strips and run thru the meat grinder( use the coarse blade) You can also have your butcher grind a larger shoulder of lamb, be sure to tell in you want most of the fat cut from the meat and have him coarse grind it for you. You can freeze this in small freezer bags in 1/2 lb patties.
Place the brown rice in 2 quarts of water, bring to a boil for 10 minutes. Rinse in a colander and let drain. If you use long grain white rice, wash and rinse rice and use this raw, the rice will cook in the squash.
Peel and chop onions. Run the onions thru the grinder while grinding the meat. Otherwise, dice the onions very small.
Add the ground meat, rice, butter, onions, spices and water in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly with four fingers (This is the fun part)
Lightly stuff zucchini shells(3/4 full) with mixture (do not pack tight). In a heavy 6 quart sauce pan, lay down the sliced tomatoes. Stack stuffed zucchini, side by side, in layers over sliced tomatoes.
Add tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes and enough water to just cover the zucchini. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 45 minutes or until tender. (be careful not to over cook).
Slice the zucchini down it's length, spread open and pour the zoom (sauce) over the top.
Serve as a main dish or a side dish.
* You can substitute any good cut of ground beef for the lamb, or I will make a mix of 50/50 lamb and beef sometimes to save time.
* Save the pulp from the zucchini centers for soup stock, bread, or you can steam it with butter and garlic and use as a side dish.
* A vegetarian version can be made by eliminating the lamb and substituting chopped mushrooms and coarse crushed wheat (bulgar)