Cooking meat in Israel is a challenge. Because the quality of kosher meat here is not great, the best way to cook it is slowly and in liquid. If anyone has any tips for how to turn Israeli beef into tender edible food, please send them in. For now, let’s turn our attention to beef stew. This is a recipe that has evolved over time, and is one of the ways I find that you can cook beef and keep it from drying out.
You can also adjust the quantities easily as it all gets thrown into a pot. For more meat, just increase the liquid quantities and add more veggies.
WINTER BEEF STEW
1 1/2 kg beef for stewing (I use neck/tzavar – #10; you can also use shoulder/katef – #4) See diagram for Israeli cuts of beef by number.
4-5 large potatoes cut into big chunks (6 pieces per potato)
1 large onion cut into large chunks
4 carrots cut into 3cm long pieces
1 container of fresh mushrooms cleaned and stemmed
200g tomato paste
1/4 cup HP sauce (optional)
1/2 cup chutney
1 cup dry red wine
2-3 bay leaves
2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
1 sprig fresh rosemary (just the small leaves removed from the branch)
1/2 teaspoon meat seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
How to do it
1. Cut the beef into cubes of about 6 cm (2 inches) You can ask the butcher to cut the meat for you. I always try to remove as much fat as possible.
2. On a dry pan, seal the pieces of beef on all sides. (Use a non-stick pan, heat it up before you put the beef on. As soon as each side changes color from raw red to light brown, turn it to the next side until all the sides are done. )
3. Add the meat and all the vegetables to a large pot. Add all the wet ingredients and the herbs and add hot water until all the ingredient are just covered.
4. Bring the stew to a boil and turn down the flame to low. Simmer for about 1 1/2 hours.
Serve with rice.