Today I’m sharing a lovely spring dish: artichoke and beef stew.
One day, at a Greek restaurant, my mom ate an artichoke and lamb stew. She found it reminiscent of a Syrian artichoke and lamb stew, but it was much thicker and brighter (and admittedly, more tasty). Using her culinary prowess, she went home to replicate it. She used the same ingredients and techniques of the more familiar dish, but in order to thicken the sauce, she started with a roux, added meat broth and finished it with lemon. And what a gorgeous thing she invented! She realized it may not have been a TRUE Syrian dish, but it was a beauty of overlapping Mediterranean cultures.
Since it’s peak artichoke season in many parts of the world right now, I thought this would be the perfect dish to share. I love the earthy artichokes contrasted with the brightness of the sauce. The meat rounds out the meal, making it so lovely to serve to your family or to entertain friends.
You may have noticed, but Middle Easterners LOVE to boil meat before combining it with other components. It’s truly the best and quickest way to make a broth that incorporates a ton of delicious seasoning. So, not very different than many other dishes, the meat cubes are cooked and boiled with 7 spices (or all spice), salt, black pepper and onions for an hour or two (depending on the toughness of the meat). This can be made up to 2 days ahead of time, just be sure to reserve the cooking liquid and the meat separately. While the meat is cooking, roast the artichokes to make sure they’re all silky and soft. Once you’re ready to put the finishing touches, it will be on the table in 30 minutes!
I really hope you enjoy this! If you try it, don’t forget to put it in the comments and tag @omayahatassi and #omayahcooks on Instagram.
Artichoke and Beef Stew
Silky artichoke hearts are perfect in this meaty and bright lemony stew. A delicious spring dish! Feel free to use lamb instead of beef for that extra spring flavor.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours
1 lb. beef or lamb stew meat, cut into cubes
1 large onion, chopped
1 tsp 7 spices or all spice
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 lbs artichoke hearts, jarred, frozen or fresh (about 8)
1/4 c vegetable oil
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 c flour
Juice from 1 lemon, plus more to taste
1/4 c chopped parsley (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Add the meat, onion, 7 spices or all spice, salt and pepper to a stock pot over high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until browned, about 5 minutes. Top with 4 c water. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to simmer. Leave for about 1.5 hours (up to 2), beginning to check if the meat is tender at 1 hour. If making ahead, reserve cooking liquid and meat separately in the refrigator up to 2 days.
- Meanwhile, place artichoke hearts on foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with vegetable oil and cover with foil. Roast in the oven until browned and a fingernail punctures the edge of a heart, about 1 hour. Can be roasted up to 2 days ahead.
- When ready to assemble stew, melt butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. When foam subsides, add the flour and whisk constantly for about a minute. Add 3 c of meat cooking liquid and whisk until completely smooth. Bring to a boil and add the artichoke. Simmer until soft, about 30 minutes. Adjust seasoning and add salt if necessary. Add lemon juice and meat. Simmer until heated through.
- Garnish with chopped parsley and serve immediately with rice. Can be made up to 3 hours ahead, reheat before serving.