Khorest-e Esfanaj (Persian Beef, Spinach and Dried Plum Stew)

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Sleep – how I miss thee. A full nights sleep has become a distant memory for me. Coffee has become my best friend. Life with a teething four-month old and an energetic¬†four-year old lends to little rest. It would be safe to say that I’ve been a little run down lately!

Therefore, I thought I’d prepare something delicious and nutrient rich to help keep me and my family healthy and energized. Khorest-e Esfanaj is the perfect remedy to exhaustion. A nourishing stew of braised beef with spinach, golden onions, and dried plums, this dish is loaded with protein, iron, B vitamins, zinc, vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A and fibre. This stew could be the next best thing to a double shot of espresso in keeping your energy up!

Khorest-e Esfanaj
(Serves 4-6)

3 tbsp canola oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 tsp turmeric
1 lb stewing beef, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 1/2 lbs fresh spinach (approx 4 bags), washed, well dried and coarsely chopped or torn.
1/2 cup chopped chives
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 cups pitted dried plums (prunes)
juice of one lime
salt & 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 spinach and chives to the pot (you might have to add the spinach in batches until it wilts down). Cook for about 5-10 minutes until all the spinach is wilted.

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Add the chicken broth, lime juice, prunes, 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

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Serve with steamed basmati rice. Enjoy!

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