Monday, June 17, 2013

399. Stewed Meat in Vinegar

Ancient cooking was based on necessity and making do with what is available.

Needless to say, food cooked for royalty and food cooked by the peasants varied greatly in contents.
The first would be opulantly laced with preserved fruit and luxurious nuts. The latter would be more basic, consisting mostly of meat, onion, and bread.
What might be surpising though, is how delicious peasant food was.
This Iraqi meat simmered in vinegar (لحم بالخل) is as plain as could be, yet you do not need to be a peasant to make it. It is so good that you will find yourself craving it once in a while.
The vinegar lends a delicious tanginess to the dish and tenderizes the meat, even tough cuts, beyond measure. The type vinegar you use will alter the taste of the dish. I used apple cider, but I think balsamic would also be good. I also increased the amound of water used since simmering for an hour with only two cups water will burn the meat.
Adapted from the amazing cookbook/encyclopedia Delights from the Garden of Eden.


2 Tbsp oil
700g boneless meat cubes
1 tsp turmeric
1 onion, sliced
1 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp chili powdder (optional)
6 cups water
1/3 cup vinegar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp honey


In a heavy medium pot, sauté meat in oil until browned, about 10 minutes.
Add turmeric at the last minute. Remove meat and set aside.
Add the onion to the pot and sauté until it softens.
Stir in the flour and chili, until the flour is fragrant.
Add the hot water and vinegar slowly, stirring all the while to prevent clumps (a whisker whould be useful).
Bring to boil, return the meat to the pot, and simmer covered on medium-low heat for about one hour, until the meat is tender and thesauce has thickened.
Remember to give it a stir once a while to prevent sticking.
Add the salt, pepper, and honey about 10 minutes before the dish is fully cooked.
Serve with plain rice.

 صحة و عافية


Anonymous said...

this sounds like a very interresting recipe... do you think I could actually use chicken breast instead of meat cubes? or do you think the taste will change... or is it a very bad idea...?

Maryam Mohammed said...

Chicken sounds like a great variation of this dish, go for it!

Anonymous said...

Assalamu'Aleikum sister

I am cooking this right now for dinner tonight. I found your blog some weeks ago looking for new recipes as I was becoming stuck cooking the same types of Pakistani recipes, as my husband is from Pakistan, before I started incorporating some Afghani style into my cooking but I still wanted to find some more ideas so jazzakumullah khair for posting such a large collection of Iraqi recipes in a very easy to follow way. I loved the sound of this dish, and the smell of stewing meat, turmeric and vinegar coming from the kitchen at the moment is very nice. I have also cooked habeet from your recipes and it was very much enjoyed by myself and my husband. Next week I think I will make the date mollases and cardamom cake you posted for my husband to break his fast with while he is working as I he won't eat dates as they are because it gets stuck in his teeth and causes pain, but I wish for him to have dates in some form for breaking the fast so this seems a good solution.

Ramadan Kareem, BarakAllahu fiki

-Maryam Hanifa, Sydney

Maryam Mohammed said...

Wa alaikum al Salam my dear sister Maryam. Ramadan kareem and my Allah bless you for you kind words!
I am very happy to hear how useful my recipes are and it makes me delighted that you choose to cook iftar using them. May Allah yjzeen wiyak and bless all of His Prophet's followers.
Thanks again for you generous comment.