Meat and Potato Stew with Prunes
Serves 8 or more
Tzimmes is a general term for a sweet vegetable or meat dish… It is traditionally served for Sukkot, the harvest festival, which celebrates farming and nature and fruit picking, when fruit is the theme of meals taken in the festive booths. I wondered about adding sugar when I cooked it, but the result was very good.
· 1 kg (2lb) slightly fat beef brisket, flank or rolled rib
· 3 tablespoons chicken fat or oil
· 1 ½ large onions, coarsely chopped
· Salt and pepper
· 1 teaspoon cinnamon
· ½ teaspoon allspice
· A good pinch of nutmeg
· 1 kg (2lb) new potatoes
· 500 gram (1lb) pitted prunes
· 2 tablespoons of sugar or to taste
In a heavy pan over medium heat, turn the meat in the fat or oil to brown it all over. Then remove it and fry the onions gently till soft. Return the meat to the pan and cover with water. Season with salt and pepper, add the cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg, and simmer for 1 ½ hours. Add the potatoes and prunes and the sugar and more water to cover, and ¾ hour longer. You may want to have plenty of black pepper to balance the sweetness. There should be a lot of liquid.
- 4 large carrots cut into pieces maybe added.
- In America, sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, are used as an alternative to potatoes.
- Add ½ teaspoons of ground ginger
- Sweeten with 2 tablespoons of honey instead of sugar.
- Some red wine could be added to the water.
Roden, C. (1996). The Book of Jewish Food. London: Penguin Books.
Instead of adding all the spices and sugar separately, I just used some of the left over poudre douce which I got from the official Song of Ice and Fire Cookbook. It's slightly different from the spices that Claudia specifies, but I think it's more medieval and thus closer to what Atalya and Rudolph might eat.
I thought the meat would be as tough as leather, but it actually almost seemed to melt when I cut it up.