Recipe by Ayah Elisabeth
I learned to cook from Palestinians, but I have altered methods. I learned to cook the meat in this recipe by searing/browning it on all sides in a pan. I changed that method to make the meat more tender and to create a meat stock to add to the stew for depth of flavor. You can make this with lamb or beef. Middle Eastern cultural preference is lamb but beef can be easily substituted (and using my method to cook it, nobody will know the difference). Time saving tip: if you plan to use lamb, most commercial butchers are happy to remove the meat from the bone, remove the fat, and sometimes even cube the meat for you. But you have to ask for it! Smaller/shorter okra are strongly preferred. Bud-like okra can be found frozen in most Middle Eastern or Indian grocery stores. Alternate idea for okra: omit the meat from this recipe to make a hearty snack to eat on pitas!
- 2 lbs lamb or 2 lbs chuck roast, cubed into about one-inch pieces
- 3 knorr beef bouillon cubes
- 4 cups water
- 1 onion, halved
- 2 garlic cloves, whacked
- 2 lbs whole okra, frozen or fresh
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, pressed
- 2 (15 ounce) cans Hunts tomato sauce
- cooked white rice
Directions See How It's Made
- If you use frozen okra, you will want to take them out of the freezer the night before or very early in the morning. Spread them out to thaw them, and let any frost on them melt and dry. If you got a late start, you can blot them off with paper towels after they are thawed, but be thorough or the oil will spatter violently when frying.
- About 4 hours before you plan to make the stew, remove excess fat and cube the roast or lamb into roughly 1 inch pieces.
- In a Crock-Pot®, combine meat, the 3 Knorr® beef bullion cubes, 4 cups of water, the halved onion, and two garlic cloves (give ‘em a good whack before adding to the liquid to release the flavor).
- When the meat is nearly done, fry the okra until brown. Not golden brown, but brown. Set aside.
- Remove meat from the pot with a slotted spoon. Set aside.
- Reserve the meat stock and strain it with a fine strainer. Set aside. Discard remaining ingredients from the pot.
- Sauté chopped onions and pressed garlic in a pot. When done, add okra, meat, sauce, and reserved meat stock. Simmer on low-medium for about 10 minutes.
- The meat stock will be salty, so additional salt is usually not necessary.
- Serve over white rice. (basmati prefered for this dish).