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Lahma Bisalsat Tamatim (baked Lamb Shanks With Tomato Sau

1 tb Olive oil
4 Lamb shanks, meaty; each about 3/4 pound
2 md Onion; cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 ts Allspice
1/2 ts Ground nutmeg
1 ts Salt
Black pepper; freshly ground
1 pn Cayenne pepper
9 md Tomato; fresh, ripe, peeled, seeded and finely chopped, or 3 cups canned, drained, chopped tomatoes
3 c Water

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees (F). Using a pastry brush apply the tablespoon of olive oil to the bottom of a baking dish large enough to hold the lamb shanks comfortably in one layer. Place the shanks in the dish and bake in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes, turning the pieces occasionally so that they color evenly on all sides. Remove the dish from the oven and spread the onion slices over the lamb. Sprinkle them with the allspice, nutmeg, salt, a few grindings of black pepper, cayenne, and spread the tomatoes on top. Pour in the water and bring to a boil on top of the stove. Bake on the lowest shelf of the oven for 1 hour, or until the lamb is tender and shows no resistance when pierced with the point of a small, sharp knife. Serve directly from the baking dish or arrange the shanks on a heated platter and pour the sauce over them.

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