Taas Kabob (Persian Beef and Vegetable Stew)

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There is nothing more comforting on a cold winter day than a bowl of warm stew. That’s exactly what Taas Kabob is: soul satisfying, belly warming, delicious and simple comfort food. A stew of tender braised beef with potatoes and vegetables in a savoury tomato based sauce.

Every Persian has their own version of Taas Kabob. The following is my mothers recipe that I grew up with, but feel free to use this as a jumping off point. We use potatoes and carrots but you can use any vegetables that you desire. In fact, many Persians would make Taas Kabob at the end of the week to use up whatever vegetables they had left in the fridge. You may add peas, mushrooms, fried eggplant or green beans. Fruits such as apples, quince, prunes or dried apricots would also be delicious.  You may use whatever you prefer or whatever happens to be in season.

Taas Kabab
Serves 4-6

3 tbsp canola oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 lb stewing beef, cut into 1 inch pieces
4 heaping tbsp tomato paste
2 cups chicken or beef broth
3 medium yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
3 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper

In a large pot (or Dutch Oven), heat the 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.

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Turn the heat up slightly to medium-high and add the beef to the pot. Brown the beef well on all sides, about 5-10 minutes.

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Add the tomato paste and fry for one minute and then add the chicken or beef broth.  Bring to a boil and then turn down heat to low. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

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Add the potatoes, carrots (or whatever vegetables you are using), lemon juice and cinnamon. Cover and simmer for another one and a half to two hours.

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Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary. Serve with bread. Enjoy.

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