Khorest-e Rivas (Persian Beef, Rhubarb and Herb Stew)

When I think of May, I think of rhubarb. For a few short weeks in this lovely month, rhubarb comes in season. Nothing makes me happier than seeing those beautiful red stalks at the market this time of year! It also means that it is the perfect time to make Khorest-e Rivas.

Khorest-e Rivas is a delicious Persian stew combining tender braised beef with fresh herbs and tart rhubarb. Savoury and tangy, this stew will make you see rhubarb in a whole new light. When most people think of rhubarb, they think of dessert or sweet toppings……strawberry & rhubarb pie, rhubarb jam, rhubarb compote or my personal favourite: rhubarb crisp. Rhubarb is often mixed with sugar to balance its sour flavour. Khorest-e Rivas by contrast is a savoury dish where rhubarb imparts a subtle tartness to this wonderful stew.

Khorest-e Rivas
(Serves 4)

canola oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp turmeric
1 lb stewing beef, cubed (about 1 inch)
2 cups low sodium chicken stock
2 bunches flat leaf parsley, (about 3 cups chopped)
6 green onions (only the green part)
2 tbsp dried mint
1 tbsp tomato paste
5 stalks of rhubarb (discard the leaves), chopped into 1 inch pieces
salt and pepper

In a large pot (or Dutch Oven), heat 3 tbsp of canola oil over medium heat. Fry the onions, stirring occasionally until soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Add the turmeric and fry for another minute.

Turn the heat up slightly to medium-high and add the beef to the pot. Brown the beef well on all sides, about 5-7 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a light boil. When simmering, turn the heat down to low. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, wash, dry and chop the parsley (remove the stems) and green onions. You may chop them with a knife but it is much easier and faster to just put them in a food processor.

In a large frying pan, heat 3 tbsp of canola oil and fry the herbs and green onion for about 5 minutes over medium-high heat.

When the beef has finished simmering, add the fried herbs, the dried mint and the tomato paste. Put the lid back on and simmer for 1 hour over low heat, stirring occasionally.

Add the rhubarb to the stew. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes until the rhubarb is cooked and soft but not so much that it is completely falling apart.

Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve with steamed basmati rice.  Enjoy!

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