Today I’m sharing fosolia, or Syrian braised green beans with lamb.
Arabs love to cook vegetables (and meat) to death. One of the main characteristics of home-cooked Middle Eastern food is that it’s simmered low and slow for several hours. There’s this magical transformation that happens when you let a pot go. The natural juices release, and everything melds together to form a beautiful and cohesive dish. It’s something I learned to appreciate as I started cooking Arabic food. The texture and the flavors are everything.
Fosolia does just that. Syrian-spiced chunks of lamb are combined with green beans and left on the stove for 2-3 hours, or until the veggies are really soft. Everything is cooked in its own liquid, creating this amalgamation of flavors that is unlike anything else.
Every child grew up eating fosolia. It’s an easy way for kids to get their nutrients. It continues to be my dad’s favorite dish, even through adulthood (he will always be a child at heart, after all). It’s always served next to a big pot of rice. My mom also makes a super lemony salad of cucumbers, tomatoes and dried mint when she makes fosolia. I have lots of memories pouring the dressing of lemon juice and olive oil all over the green beans and rice- the best part!
When you’re trying this recipe, resist the temptation to stop the cooking process! Only take it off the heat when everything has come together and the green beans are super soft. This dish also works really well in the slow cooker!
If you do try this recipe, don’t forget to put it in the comments and tag @omayahatassi and #omayahcooks on Instagram.
Fosolia (Syrian Braised Green Beans with Lamb)
Green beans cooked low and slow with lamb or beef
Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 3 hours
1/4 c ghee
1 lb lamb or beef cubes
2 tsp Syrian 7 spices or all spice
4 lbs green beans, cleaned, trimmed and snapped in half
2 tsp salt, more to taste
1 head garlic (about 15 cloves), minced
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 large tomatoes, chopped
Rice for serving
- Preheat ghee in a large Dutch oven or stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the meat, 7 spices, salt and pepper. Fry, stirring infrequently, until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes.
- Add the green beans and garlic. Cover, reduce to low, and cook until the green beans are very soft, about 2.5-3 hours. Check every once in awhile to see if there's liquid in the pot and to give everything a good stir.
- Once the green beans are soft, add the tomatoes, cover, and simmer until tomatoes have released their juices, about 30 minutes.
- Once everything has cooked, salt the fosolia to taste. This step is extremely important to make it extra delicious!
- Serve immediately with rice and a lemony salad of cucumbers, tomatoes and dried mint.
- Fosolia can be made up to a day ahead of time. Reheat on the stove before serving.