By Family Spice
This is a delicious stew to be enjoyed in the spring. Serve over some fluffy basmati rice and you have an amazing meal.
- Beef stew meat: I used 1-inch chunks of London broil for this stew, but you can also use bone-in beef or lamb shanks.
- Green almonds: You want the smaller, younger green almonds
- Dried Persian limes: Persian dried limes (limoo omani) are very distinct in flavor. You can purchase them at middle eastern markets or online. You pierce the whole limes or chop them before adding to the stew. You can also use ground dried lime. If you do not have dried limes, substitute with more lemon juice.
- Saffron: You want high quality saffron, too. Look for long strands that are crimson red throughout. Grind it yourself using a mortar and pestle. Saffron powders typically have color pigments and are lower in quality.
- Onion: You can use a brown, white or yellow onion
- Lemon juice
- Fresh greens: parsley, mint and spinach. I am a proponent of using fresh parsley and mint and not dried herbs. They offer more flavor and texture to the stew as compared to their dried counterparts. You can use frozen spinach instead of fresh. Just be sure to thaw it first and squeeze out the excess water.
- Pantry staples: turmeric, salt, pepper, all purpose flour, extra virgin olive oil, beef broth
1. Begin by sautéing the chopped onions in hot oil. season with salt, pepper and turmeric. Some people cook the onions down until nearly caramelized. I cook them for about 5-10 minutes.
2. In a large bowl mix together stew meat salt, pepper, turmeric and flour until meat is coated evenly. Add to the onions in the hot pot.
3. Brown the meat on all sides. Do not cook it all the way. Stir in beef broth and lemon juice and scrape up the browned bits of meat from the bottom of the pot. Add dried limes to the stew, reduce heat to low, cover pot and simmer for 2 hours.
4. Using a food processor (or chop finely with a knife) chop parsley, mint and spinach. then sauté the greens in olive oil in a large skillet.
5. Add the cooked greens to the meat mixture, along with ground saffron. Cook stew covered over low heat for another 30 minutes.
6. Cut in half and remove the inner seed from green almonds. Stir in halved green almonds into the stew, cover pot and cook for 30 minutes.