By David Harbilas
As with the other Turkish tomato paste recipes I’ve been featuring lately this one relies on an austere list of vegetables and long cooking method for its effects.
And as with the other recipes, it benefits from some slight modifications, the greatest of which is the use of stock in place of water.
While most of the world’s great recipes arose out of the need to eat something different while still being limited by poverty, this braise, like many, does not need to be bland, as there are many broth alternatives available, be they bouillon cubes, prepared broths, or frozen homemade stocks.
The use of tomato paste, however, nearly does away with the importance of such stocks, since it not only has a lot of flavor on its own but it seems to enhance the flavors of other ingredients in long-cooked methods like this.
2 cans chickpeas
1 can tomato paste
1 pound beef stewing meat
2 cups water or stock
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, shopped
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of thyme
1 parsley sprig
salt and pepper
In a large saucepan, heat about 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the beef, season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat until the beef is well browned. Add the onion and cook for two to three minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic and sautÃ© for 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Add the chickpeas, parsley, bay leaf, thyme and stock and cook for 1-1 Â½ hours, or until the beef is tender. If the sauce isn’t thick continue to cook until it thickens slightly, almost like a tomato broth.