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Tuesday, January 19, 2021
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The wind is blowing hard, the rain comes and goes, no snow yet, but the temperature is definitely cold. It’s not Canada or the U.S. Midwest, but Jerusalem.

Many of us live in buildings with central heating, only no one taught the Israelis to keep it on low all day; instead they turn it off at night and start it up again next evening for five hours.

In my apartment, I can regulate the heat myself and keep it on low as long as I like, taking the chill off the rooms. Warming the insides with a good stew at dinner helps.

My Favorite Italian Beef Stew

6 servings

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 6 T. margarine
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 1 t. minced garlic
  • 2 ½ pounds stew meat
  • 1 t. chopped parsley
  • ½ t. basil
  • red pepper strips
  • green pepper strips
  • 1 T. tomato paste
  • 4 t. beef soup powder
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 t. paprika
  • 1 ½ pounds potatoes (optional)
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In a soup pot, heat oil and margarine. Saute onion and garlic until light golden.

Add beef, parsley, basil and peppers and cook for 20 minutes.

Add tomato paste, beef soup powder, water, paprika and potatoes, if using.

Cover and cook for 30-35 minutes or until meat and potatoes are tender.

Beef Stew Americano

4-6 servings

  • 2 T. oil
  • 2 pounds stew meat
  • 3 T. flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 t. minced garlic
  • 1 t. beef soup powder
  • 2 T. tomato paste
  • 1 cup hot water
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/8 cup chopped parsley
  • ½ t. thyme
  • 1 chopped leek
  • ¼ cup mushrooms
  • 4 chopped onions
  • 2 chopped carrots
  • 2 chopped celery ribs
  • 2 chopped turnips
  • 6 cut-up potatoes
  • any other vegetables

Heat oil in a soup pot. Add meat and sprinkle flour on top.

Add beef powder, tomato paste, hot water and wine over meat.

Add bay leaves, parsley, thyme. leek and mushrooms. Reduce heat and cook 1 hour.

Add onions, carrots, celery, turnips, potatoes and any other vegetables and cook 30 minutes more.

Greek Stew

6-8 servings

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 pounds beef stew meat
  • 6-8 crushed garlic cloves
  • 2 chopped onions
  • 1 cup wine
  • 6 ounce tomato paste
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • peel of 1 orange
  • 4 potatoes
  • 4-6 chopped carrots
  • 4 chopped ribs celery
  • ¼ pound cut green beans
  • ¼ pound olives

Heat oil in a soup pot. Brown meat.

Add garlic, onion, wine and tomato paste. Simmer for 1 hour.

Add water, bay leaves, cinnamon orange peel, potatoes, carrots, and celery and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add green beans and olives and simmer for 15 minutes.

Cover and let stand 1 hour before reheating to serve.


Sybil Kaplan is a journalist, author, compiler/contributor/editor of nine kosher cookbooks (working on a 10th) and food writer for North American Jewish publications. She lives in Jerusalem where she has led weekly walks of the Jewish food market, Machaneh Yehudah, in English since 2009. She wrote the kosher Jerusalem restaurant features for Janglo.net, the oldest, largest website for English speakers from 2014 to 2020.

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