Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Persian Beef Stew

I don't like stew.

It's chunks of parboiled beef floating in a flotsam of grains and lightly flavored water. Occasionally an old vegetable tries to claw its way out.

It's a hate/hate relationship.

So I'm coming to this Persian (if that makes you feel better) Stew recipe from a completely different angle. If like me, you're not wild about stew or want to try something different give this sucker a try.

The cool thing is that assuming you do a bit of baking and/or occasional Indian cooking you'll already have all the spices. Nothing's outside what you'd find in a regular grocery store but the combinations are deliciously exotic.

I found the recipe here.
 It calls to mix together the cumin, pepper, coriander, cloves, cardamom, nutmeg and cinnamon and to only use 1 tablespoon in the pot. I wasn't certain if I was going to like this at all so rather than waste spices I cut everything down by an eighth.

Saute the onions and garlic in the oil until they're nice and fragrant and the onions do that onion thing.

Add the beef and brown it on all sides. This'll take around 5-7 minutes.

Dump in the tomatoes (I didn't bother draining the can because it's stew), cilantro (I also didn't add cilantro. I am neither for nor against the stuff, I just didn't have any), mushrooms, the spice mixture (1 tablespoon if you made the mix, a tiny amount of each if you didn't), and a bit of salt.

Mix all that together for about a minute.

Add the broth, bring to a boil and then let simmer for an hour and a half.

Add the green beans and then let it go another half hour.

Now you have Persian Beef Stew. I served it over rice which was a nice way to cut some of the spicy and also soak up the stewey goodness.

You may have noticed that your kitchen is rather fragrant as all the spices combined into one giant super spice (like Voltron). It will also make your hair smell delicious.

It isn't easy to explain just what this stew tastes like in English. We confuse spicy with hot. This isn't a throbbing drum beat to the tongue like peppers are. It's more like a cacophony, an orchestral hit to the tongue as all the spices fight together to be heard over the horde.

And that's what I love about it. It takes a little while to train the tongue to get used to the noise but once you do...oh Mamma!

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