Monday, September 20, 2010

Ghormeh Sabzi

I have been debating whether to post this recipe or not. Not because it isn’t a great recipe, but because it is not very typical of me to use short-cuts. I don’t bake cakes from a box, I make my own sweet-and-sour sauce, and so on. But this time around I must confess I used a short-cut, actually two: dehydrated vegetables and canned beans. Still, it was delicious and combined with the meat being prepared in my pressure cooker, this made for a totally non-time-consuming, mid-week dinner.

I’ve been craving Iranian food a lot lately. I think this might have something to do with how much I miss my father; he is Iranian. Anyway, this stew is one of my favorites and my daughter’s too. I think, traditionally, Ghormeh Sabzi is made with lamb, beans and vegetables. So, mine is not a traditional one by any means. I used veal instead of lamb, store-bought dehydrated vegetables, and canned beans. The Sabzi (herbs) consists mainly of parsley, leek and fenugreek - if you are really inspired or unable to find packaged dehydrated vegetables specific for this dish, go ahead and make your own sabzi. You can easily find many recipes on the Internet, although I have not tried any of them myself. You can find one that seems quite easy here .

Ghormeh Sabzi

About 1 lb (or 1 ½) of veal or stew beef cut in cubes
1 ½ large onions, peeled and thinly sliced
3 or 4 dried Persian limes
A small handful of cilantro, tied into a bouquet
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and pepper to taste
About ½ tsp of turmeric
1 2.5oz package of dehydrated Vegetables for Ghormeh Sabzi
About 1 ½ cups of canned red kidney beans very well rinsed and drained
Freshly squeezed lemon juice

Place dehydrated ghormeh sabzi vegetables into a bowl and cover with warm water for about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, add enough oil to coat onions in a large skillet on the stove. When the oil is hot add the onions. Stir the onions until they are coated with oil. Continue to stir the onions in medium low heat as you watch the onions’ color turn darker and darker, until they look caramelized, it should take you 20 to 30 minutes. Set aside.

Put about 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a pressure cooker and heat over medium high heat. Add the meat then the tumeric, black pepper, and salt. Let it brown on all sides. Add caramelized onions and stir. Place the cilantro bouquet and the Persian limes, cover with about 4 cups of water. Lock lid in place, bring to high pressure and cook for about 10 minutes.

In the meantime, in a separate saucepan, heat a little bit of olive oil in low-medium heat and then add the drained vegetables letting it fry for a few minutes while constantly stirring.

After the meat has cooked for 10 minutes, release pressure according to manufacturer's directions, remove cilantro bouquet, and add the sautéed herbs and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Lock lid in place again, bring to high pressure and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes.

When meat is ready and pressure has been released open according to manufacturer's directions, add well rinsed and drained kidney beans. Let cook without cover for a few more minutes.

Serve with plain Persian rice.

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