Nevermind what you told the intimidatingly cool intern at work, we all know that your plans this weekend involve staying indoors and very close to a space heater. You're broke, the weather is hovering between sleet and vertical rain, and it's January, man.
But just because you're spending Saturday ignoring Facebook invites doesn't mean you can't have fun. What you need is a weekend cooking project.
To properly qualify for Weekend Cooking Project status, a dish must be hearty, require more culinary effort than a midweek spag Bol, and make enough to feed the legions of people who will miraculously descend on your kitchen when they find out you're attempting some Nigel Slater-type shit in there.
This weekend, give Nige a rest and your friends something to get really excited about: make London-born Palestinian chef Joudie Kalla's makloubeh.
As Kalla explained when we cooked this recipe with her at home, makloubeh is a traditional Middle Eastern rice dish that gets flipped over onto a plate before serving—hence why it translates as "upside down."
But there's a lot more to this dish than playing sandcastles. You'll need to cook lamb shoulder for around an hour until tender and layer it in a large pan with aubergine, tomatoes, and cinnamon-spiked Egyptian rice.
As Kalla says, makloubeh is a "labour of love." But when enjoyed with toasted nuts and fresh parsley on a cold January night, one that's totally worth it.