We got hold of some locally raised mutton the other week, and the first thing I made was this, so delicious. I love Persian food, and this recipe is just wonderful, so subtle and warming. It should be served with barberry rice, (zereshk polo), but we had it with plain rice, because I didn’t know at the time.
The recipe is from Maryam Sinaiee’s book, Nightingales and Roses. All of the recipes I have tried from this book have been easy to follow, and delicious. She also writes a food blog called The Persian Fusion, which has a good gluten-free section as well.
- 1 large head of cellery
- 100g flat-leaf parsley
- 80g mint leaves
- 6 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 500g lamb or mutton, cut into chunks (preferably lamb neck fillet or lean shoulder, but I had a bit of leg)
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tbsp plain foulr
- 1/2 tsp salt
- juice of half a lemon
- black pepper
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a heavy casserole dish, and fry the onions over a moderate heat, until they start to brown
- Add the lamb/mutton and the turmeric, and fry until lightly browed on all sides.
- Pour over boiling water, to cover the meat by a couple of centimetres. Bring to the boil, and then lower the heat so that the lamb/mutton can cook for the next hour.
- Next up, prepare the herbs. Remove any tough-looking stems from the mint and parsley, and add any leaves from the celery. Put them in a food processor, or slice finely. This makes quite a mound of chopped herbs.
- While the lamb continues to cook, cut the celery stalks into 2 centimetre pieces. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, and add the celery along with 2 tbsp water, and cover. The celery should cook for about half an hour, until almost soft and beginning to brown at the edges.
- Once the meat has been cooking for an hour, add the cooked celery pieces with all their juices.
- In the frying pan, heat another 2 tbsp oil, and add the herbs and flour, stir and cook for 4-5 minutes, making sure that the herbs don’t burn. Add the cooked herbs to the stew.
- Bring the stew back to the boil and cook for another hour (possibly an hour and a half) – the meat should be really tender and the sauce should be thickened.
- Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, cook for a further five minutes.
Serve with rice; I will test out the Zereshk Polo recipe soon.
We are eating the last of the beef we got from Dr Louise, from cattle grazed on Askernish Machair. I made this last week, so easy. It is from #CookforSyria, a recipe book that I bought two years ago. The website link also tells you a little bit more about the creation of CookforSyria, a celebration of Syrian food culture, and a fund-raiser for Unicef.
This dish is meant to be cooked in a single pot, as part of a barbecue, picnic or other al-fresco dining event.
- 500g beef, cubed
- 100g suet, beef fat or other cooking fat
- 2 aubergines, cubed
- 2 green peppers, chopped
- 2 small onions, sliced
- 300g cherry tomatoes, halved
- 125ml of Arak (or Raki, or Ouzo)
- salt and pepper
- In the pot, cover the beef in cold water, bring to the boil and simmer for 45 minutes. Any stock that is produced can be used for other dishes.
- Take the beef out of the water, and reserve the stock for another day. In the pan, fry the beef fat for a few minutes then add the chopped vegetables and the beef. Add a few spoonfuls of the stock from earlier.
- Cover and leave to simmer for 25 minutes, and then add the Arak, and simmer for a further five minutes.
- Serve with flat bread and/or rice.
I had no idea that Jhal Faraizi was designed to use up left-overs. In fact, this recipe is almost like stovies, but with more meat, and green Chillies. Madhur Jaffrey’s book Curry Easy gives a short history of the origins of the dish, which originated in Bengal. Some versions have a sauce, but this is more pared back, and quick and easy. I didn’t have any left-over potatoes or beef, so this version includes cooking from scratch.
- 4 medium floury potatoes
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil or other vegetable oil
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 fresh hot green chillies, chopped finely
- around 350g beef (could be left-overs) – diced
- 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, roughly sliced
- Salt and pepper
- Boil the potatoes whole, and then set aside to cool
- Poach the beef in some water and ginger, for around 20 minutes, then strain and remove the ginger. I kept the liquid back and used it as stock in another recipe.
- When the potatoes are cool, peel them and cut into small dice.
- Put the oil in a large frying pan, and heat. When the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle briefly.
- Add the onion, potatoes and chillies, then turn the heat down a bit, and stir, cooking until the onions are translucent, around five minutes.
- Add the meat, a good pinch of salt and lots of black pepper. Stir and mix for a minute, and turn the heat down very low. Press the mixture down into the pan and then cook gently for around 15 minutes.
- We had this with poached eggs on top.