Recipe Source: Bundy, Ariana. Pomegranates and Roses. Simon & Schuster Illustrated, London, 2012 p. 92
How did you spend your New Year's Eve? I spent it in the tub with my cat and a pile of new cookbooks. Part of me was thinking, "This is lame. You should be out partying and getting wild." The rest of me placated that part with a Martini. We had several options to choose from for New Year's Eve, actually. What we didn't have was child care. While children were welcome at some of those options, it's not exactly easy to let your hair down and celebrate when you're responsible for a very small person. I also intensely dislike being out on the roads on New Year's Eve, because even if the person driving me doesn't drink at all for a week or a year or a lifetime beforehand the other people on the road are probably not quite as sober. I also hate crowds. While I kind of felt like I should have been out partying, I was actually very happy in the tub with my books and my cat. And I had received quite a few new cookbooks for Christmas that I was very, very eager to peruse. This was one of them. It was a gift from my husband and I was so enthralled with it that I started cooking from it the very next week.
Of course, I made a few changes to the recipe, and I suppose it bears very little resemblance to the original. Buffalo, for example, is not typically found in a Persian khoresh. It was however significantly less expensive than lamb that week, and I'm trying to rein in expenses. I increased the garlic, because I always do. (The author was careful to explain earlier in the book about not overdoing the garlic, but I'm Italian. We have a different definition of "overdoing garlic" than most people, I suppose.) I used vegetable stock for the chicken stock because that's what I had on hand. I couldn't get white onions so I used regular onions, and I used extra to make up for the volume. (Besides, onions are good for you.) I omitted the sugar, which was listed as optional anyway.) The original called for spinach. I didn't like the looks of the spinach that week and I personally prefer kale. I just do. I decided to add the zest of the tangerine and the lime to the stew to give it a little extra brightness - I was making this ahead of time and reheating it, and sometimes flavors can get a little "muddy" when that happens. A little extra brightness never hurt anyone anyway. I used less oil because I'm trying to lose weight - as if that little reduction would help, but I suppose it's a good habit to get into. I added a little cumin and coriander to the dish as well, mostly because they were on the counter while I was working and I like them.
I was very happy with the results. I liked the tangerine in this - I don't know if it was the zest or what, but the flavor came through very nicely. I could have lived without the prunes. I don't generally like sweet with my savory, but I'm definitely in the minority on that. My husband and daughter loved them in this, so I guess I'm outvoted. It probably doesn't resemble the original, but I still really enjoyed it.
Kale and Buffalo Stew (serves 4; approx. $4.27/serving)
2 onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound buffalo stew meat
6 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 cups hot vegetable stock
6 scallions, chopped
1 generous bunch kale, chopped
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 tangerine, zested and juiced
- Large saucepan with lid
- Saute pan
- Heat the oil over medium high heat in the saucepan.
- Add the onion. Saute until golden.
- Add the meat, garlic and spices. Brown the meat.
- Add the hot stock. Bring to a simmer, and simmer gently for about an hour.
- Meanwhile, heat the kale and scallions gently in the saute pan. There should be enough water clinging to the kale from washing it to steam it gently; if not, you can add just a very tiny splash. Cook until wilted slightly.
- Add the greens to the stew pot along with the citrus zests, juices and prunes. Cook another 20 minutes or so.
- Serve hot.