I bought today this nice piece of beef chuck roast, not really sure what to do with it. I thought I may make one of those all-in-a pot dishes, with rice and veggies. But as I was going in my head through the dishes I know, I got discouraged. Not that the recipes are no good. On the contrary. They are all delicious, and I will certainly make them (and post the recipes) at a different time. But they all contain carbs of some kind, which presents a problem in our house on a regular basis. As I mentioned in previous posts, Doron, my husband, refrains from carbs during the week. He only allows himself one “carbolicious” day over the weekend. If I made a large pot of stew with rice or potatoes, I would get stuck with it for the rest of the week, having to eat it almost by myself (with some help from Tamar and Amitai). So I wanted to play it safe and cook the meat separately from the carbs. This way, Doron can enjoy the meat for a few days, and I’m off the hook J
I planned on making one of my usual beef stews (red wine, mushrooms, herbs and veggies), but as I opened the fridge, I saw this huge bunch of fresh mint staring at me.
It is leftover from an even larger bunch that I bought for baking the lemon mint cake at the bakery. Unlike other ingredients, I can’t save the mint for another time. So what do you do with so much fresh mint? I’ve been drinking mint tea all week, and added fresh mint to our salad every night, and yet there is still a nice amount left untouched. Usually, I would probably use it to make one of my favorite Persian stews that calls for tons of greens. But today I decided to try something new.
In Turkish, Persian, and Bukharian cuisines, you sometimes combine mint with raisins and currants, a combination that usually works well. So I decided to take this general direction, without following any specific recipes and see what comes out. I must admit that I was a bit nervous. I’ve already messed up more than once when improvising with food. It doesn’t happen very often, but when it happens I’m upset because of all the wasted food that goes in the garbage And the meat wasn’t cheap… Gabriella from Cooking Without Limits wrote a whole post about it in her blog: https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/40298565/posts/1967, and it I felt like it was me writing it.
Long story short, I’ll save you the suspense, not only did my experiment worked out, but it turned out to be a great success. Phew…
So now I have a new recipe that will probably stick around. Here it is:
Beef Stew with Fresh Mint, Raisins, and Goji Berries
2 tablespoons olive oil
2.5 lb beef chuck roast
2 cups fresh mint leaves, chopped
3 tablespoons goji berries (zereshk)
3 tablespoons raisins
1tbs Ras-El-Hanut spice mix
½ teaspoon black pepper
Cut the meat into 1-2 inch cubes.
In a large pot heat the oil on high heat, then add the pieces of meat and seal them from all directions. Lower the heat to medium low, add the mint, goji, raisins, and spices, except for the salt.
Cover the pot and cook for an hour. Add the salt, give the dish a stir, cover again and continue cooking for 45 minutes longer.
Every once in a while, check to see that the stew has some liquid to cook in (not a lot). Add a little water if needed, so the stew doesn’t get burned.
It’s so delicious! Sometimes I surprise myself 🙂