Saturday, March 24, 2012

beef and quince plov

Plov is the national Azerbaijani dish, and it basically appears to mean (from what I've had) rice cooked with saffron and broth served with a stew of sorts. Our cook at work makes it and includes meat, dried fruits, and chestnuts. I love rice, and what's not to like about meat and fruit?

I also love quince, which I probably haven't had in the 23 years since I lived in Germany. It's a special, sweet flavor. So when my German friend who is an extraordinary international cuisine expert suggested a quince with beef plov, that sounded perfect.

I pretty much copied it from this site, and I'll make notes to remember for later.
Overall, it was really good - just really rich and a tad too sweet. I'd love to add more vegetables to it so I need to think about what would go well. Or maybe the answer is to have a good salad with it and reduce the portion size of the plov. It was quite a bit of work to saute everything separately, but I do think it made the taste really, really good. It was exactly what I wanted after a week of pretty "meh" food in Istanbul (don't know how we found the only blah places in town, but we did).

My beef was pretty tough but before it got tender the quince got a little too soft - so I'd probably add the quince in later and let the beef stew away first.

Persian beef with quince (Khoreshe behh)
(Blog: "In Erica's Kitchen" and adapted from a recipe by Haydeh Bina Motavasel)
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 pounds stew beef cut into smallish cubes (lamb or veal work also)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon (definitely no more - this small amount is great)
  • 2-3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • 2-3 quinces, cored and cubed, not peeled (resist impulse to put in more - but do figure out vegetables to add in)
  • handful of prunes
  • 3 Tbsp honey (reduce or omit - the fruit is sweet enough)
Heat 3 Tbsp olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Brown the meat in batches until it is seared well on all sides, then remove the meat to a plate. Add the onions and cook 6-8 minutes, until the onions are starting to brown nicely. Add the meat and any juices that have accumulated on the plate back to the pot. Add the turmeric, cinnamon, tomato paste, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and enough water to come halfway up the meat mixture. Stir to combine and bring the pot to a simmer.

While the meat is coming to a simmer, heat the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil in a skillet and saute the quince for a few minutes. You don't want to cook it thoroughly, just to start caramelizing the edges. Add the quince to the stew pot along with the prunes and honey. By this time the stew should be simmering; stir everything to combine, cover the pot, and let it cook a good three hours over very low heat. Check it occasionally to make sure there is enough liquid in the pot, and if it looks dry, add some water. Shirin notes that the longer it cooks, the better it will be.

No comments:

Post a Comment