Sunday, November 11, 2007

"Tas Kebab" - Stewed Kebabs in a Bowl

Kebabs are the national food of Turks. There are so many ways to prepare them, each tastier than the last. This one is usually eaten with Hunkar Begendi - Roasted Eggplant Puree, and the taste is divine. But you don't have to limit can serve this dish with rice, another delicious combination.

Tas Kebab is usually cooked with lamb meat. I don't like the smell all that much, so I use beef for stewing. Lamb is a softer meat so you don't really need to marinade it. But because I use beef, I marinade with onions for about 2 hours, up to 1 day ahead.

Sometimes green bell peppers are added to this recipe. If you like them, by all means go ahead and add coarsely cubed pepper pieces in the color of your choice when you add the onions.


1 lb. beef, cut into cubes
1 medium sized onion, chopped
1 medium or large pepper (optional)
1 tbs butter and a little bit olive oil
1 tsp. flour
1 tsp. tomato paste
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and cut into small cubes
Salt and Pepper
Hot water

Melt the butter with olive oil and cook the beef for about 8 to 10 minutes until it is almost done. Add the onions and cook for another 2 minutes. You are sweating the onions, don't let them burn. Add the green peppers, if you wish.

Add tomato paste and a little bit of hot water to dissolve the paste and stir. Add flour and stir again. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the tomatoes and cook over low heat for about 2 hours or until the meat is tender and flakes when touched with a fork.

As the liquid in the pot evaporates, keep adding water as needed, making sure that the water you add is hot. Taste occasionally. You may have to adjust the seasonings if you've had to add a lot of water. The onions will melt and the sauce will become almost creamy.

This dish does take a long time to make, but you are not really doing anything to it after the first 10 minutes. You just need to keep an eye on it. You will be rewarded for your effort.

Bon appetit:)

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