Cooking for Two: Rhubarb Khoresh

In the spring when rhubarb first appears in the market, most people think about strawberry rhubarb pie or rhubarb cobbler, I think about savoury things like rhubarb mustard. The combination of the tartness of the rhubarb and the spicing makes this beef stew live up to it’s Persian name and I really enjoyed it. In fact, some chopped pistachios would be a welcome garnish.

I got this recipe from The Globe and Mail, and I have to admit that I changed the recipe around a bit. It originally called for the parsley and the mint to cook for an hour and the rhubarb to cook for fifteen minutes, which seemed like an awfully short time to me. In the end, I switched it around so that the rhubarb went in and then the parsley and mint in the last fifteen minutes. I don’t know, but perhaps the rhubarb was meant to retain more of it’s orignal shape, but when I cooked it for an hour it melted away into a wonderful tangy sauce.

This recipe calls for two pounds of meat and I made the whole thing, because stew is always better a day or two after you make it or you can freeze it, but if you want a smaller amount, this is easily cut in half.

Rhubarb Khoresh

2 tablespoons olive oil plus 3 tablespoons
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 pounds stewing beef cut in 1-inch pieces
2 cups chopped onion
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon turmeric
4 cups chicken or beef broth
1 cup coarsely chopped parsley, packed
1 cup coarsely chopped mint, packed
1 pound rhubarb cut in 1-inch lengths
1 tablespoon sugar or more to taste

1. Preheat oven to 325 F.

2. Heat oil in small Dutch oven or oven-proof pot. Season meat with salt and pepper. Working in batches, sear meat on each side until browned, about 4 minutes altogether for each batch. Remove from pan. Reduce heat to medium and add onions. Sauté until softened about 2 minutes.

3. Combine cinnamon and turmeric and sprinkle in. Stir together and add chicken stock. Bring to boil, scraping any bits on the base and return meat to pot. Cover and place in oven. Bake for 1 hour.

4. Add rhubarb and cook 30 minutes longer. Heat the rest of the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté parsley and mint for 1 minute, or until wilted and fragrant. Add into stew and cook another half hour. Stir in sugar and adjust seasoning to taste.

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