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Khoreshte Beh (Persian Beef and Quince Stew) Recipe

A sweet-tart, savory stew to celebrate the High Holidays.

Khoreshte beh is a classic Persian dish of quince and beef shank stewed slowly in a pomegranate base and served over steamed basmati rice. Iranian Jews commonly eat it as a pre-fast meal for Yom Kippur. Quince and pomegranate are both in season, as the holiday lands at the transition from summer to fall. Its sweet-tart flavor profile has you going back for extra helpings, making it a perfect dish to fill up on before a day of fasting. 

Join Tannaz Sassooni on Sunday, September 12 at 7:30 pm ET to learn how to make khoreshte beh as part of The Nosher’s High Holidays Cooking Class Series. Register here.

Ingredients

  • ½ lb. boneless beef shank meat, cut into 1-inch squares and trimmed of excess fat
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 Tbsp neutral oil, such as grapeseed, divided
  • 1 large quince, cored and cut into 8 wedges (about 1 lb.)
  • ½ large onion, chopped finely
  • 1 Tbsp dried turmeric
  • about 15 dried golden sour plums (aloo bokhara) or dried apricots
  • 3 oz tomato paste (6 Tbsp)
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • ½ tsp cinnamon

Directions

  1. If your meat is not kosher, salt thoroughly and set aside.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pot or pressure cooker over medium-high heat. Sauté quince until golden brown on all sides, flipping pieces occasionally, about 8 minutes. Remove from pot and set aside.
  3. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, turmeric, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, meat and dried plums or apricots, and stir to combine. Fry until beef is cooked on all sides and onions start to gently brown, about 8-10 minutes. 
  4. Add tomato paste, stir to combine, and cook for 2 more minutes. 
  5. Pressure cooker instructions: Add quince, pomegranate juice, 3 cups water and cinnamon to the pressure cooker; stir to combine. Seal lid, bring to high pressure and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes. Check for tender meat and quince that has softened and darkened in color. Continue cooking at high pressure for another 5-10 minutes if necessary. 
  6. Regular pot instructions: Add pomegranate juice, 3 cups water and cinnamon to pot; stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer covered for 30 minutes. Add quince and stir to combine. Bring back to a boil, then simmer, covered, for another 30 minutes. Meat should be tender, and quince should be soft and slightly darkened in color.

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