This weekend we were staying at L’s parents house- he working on a special woodworking project with his dad and me cooking, reading, and watching Girls On-Demand. Sometimes it’s really very nice to get out of the city, breathe the fresh air and just be which is exactly what we did.
Saturday evening we had a big family dinner and I made this Middle Eastern Beef Stew- a perfect combination of far off flavors in the simple style slow cooked vegetables and beef in a delicious tomato broth. L’s mom made a big salad and my mom brought the desserts. We poured some wine, caught up on our journey, and passed around a comfort food meal with a little bit of a twist, perfect for the chilly temperatures we’ve been having.
Middle Eastern Beef Stew (Adapted from this recipe)
FOR THE SPICE MIXTURE:
1/1 tsp. black pepper
1⁄2 tsp. cumin
1⁄2 tsp. coriander
pinch all spice
1⁄4 tsp. grated nutmeg
1⁄4 tsp. ground cinnamon
pinch ground ginger
pinch ground turmeric
salt to taste
FOR THE STEW:
olive oil for roasting and to coat pan
1 lb. Italian eggplant, peeled
and cut into 3⁄4″-thick rounds
1 lb. waxy-style potatoes, peeled and cut
into 1⁄2″-thick rounds
2 large beefsteak tomatoes,
cored and cut into 1″-thick rounds
1 medium onion, sliced into 3⁄4″-thick rounds
1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded,
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded,
1 lb. organic beef, stew meat (strips)
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2⁄3 cup tomato paste
1 tbsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
- Combine spices and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400. Spread vegetables, separated by type, on a roasting pan (or pans, drizzle with olive oil and roast until softened, about 30 minutes.
- Heat olive oil in a 6qt dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sear beef in batches until browned, about 5 minutes transfer to a bowl to capture juices and wipe out dutch oven.
- Heat a little olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic; cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste; cook until browned, 1–2 minutes. Stir in 1 cup water, salt, and reserved meat juices; set aside.
- Heat oven to 350°. Beginning with raw tomato, layer vegetables and beef in the dutch oven Season each layer with salt to taste and spice mixture. Pour in tomato sauce; slide a spatula around pot to disperse sauce. Bake covered, for 1 hour. Let rest for 30 minutes or more and serve with irresistible bread.