Monday, 21 May 2012

Egyptian Cooking Basics: Stew Meat and Beef Stock



Stew meat 

The cornerstone of Egyptian cooking is stews. Beef stew and beef stock are used in most Egyptian dishes, and is a basic for most popular food like bamya [Okra Stew]. Sometimes, we even just eat plain stew meat and broth with rice.

Usually the broth is used to make some kind of vegetable stew with tomato sauce, and the meat could be added in, or served on the side. Many households actually cook the stew in the oven from start to finish, or cook it on the stovetop and finish it off in a bram, or traditional Egyptian clay version of the crock pot.  Batates bil lahma, or beef and potato stew, is an example of this.

You can keep it by freezing for later. I suggest freezing the cooked meat with some stock in portions, then freezing pure strained stock in an ice cube tray.  

When making the stock, I like to keep the stock neutral in flavor to be able to use it in different dishes. Overpowering it with garlic or green pepper for example, will limit its use in other dishes. Remember you can always add different flavors later on.

Pure beef stock 
Ingredients:
        
    1 Large onion, chopped
    1 kg stew meat
    1 carrot
     4-5 bay leaves
     Salt
     Pepper
     Water
     2 Tbsp Oil

   Preparation:
  
    In a large pot, heat the oil. Add in the meat and  brown. Add in the onions, and salt. Once translucent, add in the rest of the ingredients and the water. The water should be ¾ filling the pot. Bring to the boil, then reduce to medium heat for about 1 – 1.5 hours. Meat should be tender but not falling apart.


       What is your favorite use for beef stock?



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