One of the innumerable benefits of marrying a Turk is visiting Turkey and eating Turkish food. I could happily live on the Aegean shores of Western Turkey or the Mediterranean shores of the south, eating fresh, unprocessed food for the rest of my days. But until those future days of sun-drenched retirement, I can at least make some Turkish dishes here in America. This is the first of many Turkish recipes I will be posting. This stew is one of the easiest and most delicious Turkish meals that I make. I urge you to try it. Even if you don’t like chick peas, I think you’ll find you love them in this dish. Printer-friendly recipe at the end of the post.
Here’s what you’ll need.
- 2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 pound beef shoulder (or other stew meat), cubed
- 1 large sweet onion, roughly chopped
- 1 large or 2-3 small tomatoes, diced
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Berkley & Jensen Beef Bouillon Cubes (these provide the salt for the dish, and they have excellent flavor. I can’t recommend them enough)
- 2 (29 ounce) cans chick peas, drained
- 2-3 bay leaves
Heat oil in large heavy pot or dutch oven over medium high/high heat. Add the meat.
Brown the meat until it is almost all brown.
Then add the onions.
Continue to cook over medium high/high heat, stirring often. During this time the meat will continue to brown, and the onions will start to caramelize. You want to smell the onion’s sugars caramelizing on the bottom of the pot. Keep stirring so things don’t get too crispy. After several minutes, it will look like this:
Add tomatoes, spices and bouillon.
And cook for a few more minutes.
Add the chick peas.
Fill pot with water until chick peas are covered. Add bay leaves.
Simmer for about an hour, though you can certainly go longer. Most Turks rest their meals before serving. A dish may be prepared during the afternoon, left to cool on the stove, and then reheated just before serving. This greatly improves the flavor (like how chili and clam chowder taste so much better the next day). If you have the time, let the stew rest for an hour or two or three. It will only improve with time.
Serve over rice or with crusty bread. Enjoy! Or as the Turks say, afiyet olsun!