Tunisian Jews make a meatball, white bean, and spinach stew on Shabbat, Rosh Hashanah, and other holidays, ladling it over couscous, writes Leah Koenig in ‘‘The Jewish Cookbook.’’ First simmer flanken or short ribs until they’re tender, then add meatballs made with a lot of spices, along with canned beans, fresh spinach, and a cup of fresh mint and cilantro. Serve with harissa. The stew is hearty but not heavy with lots of appealing flavors and textures.
|1||pound ground beef|
|1||medium onion, grated|
|¼||cup dried breadcrumbs|
|1||tablespoon ground cumin|
|1||teaspoon ground cinnamon|
|1||teaspoon smoked paprika|
|½||teaspoon ground coriander|
|½||teaspoon ground turmeric|
|½||teaspoon ground pepper|
|2||tablespoons olive oil|
1. In a bowl, combine the beef, onion and its liquid, breadcrumbs, cumin, cinnamon, paprika, coriander, turmeric, salt, pepper, and eggs.
2. Use clean hands to work the mixture until it is smooth. With wet hands, shape the mixture into 1-inch balls. You should have about 30.
3. In a large flameproof casserole over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add half the meatballs to the pan, making one layer. Cook for 2 minutes, or until they move easily. Turn and cook 2 minutes more. Remove from the pan and transfer to a large plate. Cook the remaining meatballs in the same way. Remove them all from the pan. Cool and refrigerate.
|¼||cup olive oil|
|1½||pounds beef flanken or short ribs, cut into pieces along the bone|
|Salt and pepper, to taste|
|1||large onion, chopped|
|8||cloves garlic, chopped|
|5||cups beef or chicken stock|
|1||can (15 ounces) white beans, drained|
|5||ounces fresh baby spinach|
|½||cup chopped fresh mint|
|½||cup chopped fresh cilantro|
|Harissa (for serving)|
1. Wipe out the pan used to brown the meatballs. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the flanken or short ribs with salt and pepper. Add them to the pan and cook, turning to brown all sides, for 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes, or until the onion starts to soften.
2. Return the meat to the pan with any juices on the plate. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover the pan, and simmer for 1½ to 2 hours, or until the meat is tender when pierced with a skewer.
3. Add the meatballs and beans to the pan and turn the heat to medium-high. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through.
4. Stir in the spinach, mint, and cilantro. Cook 2 minutes, or just until the spinach is wilted. Taste for seasoning, and add more salt and pepper, if you like. Serve with harissa. Adapted from ‘‘The Jewish Cookbook’’