Description :

Filled with melt-in-your-mouth meat and luscious eggplant, this aromatic stew is hearty, comforting, and undeniably delicious.

Ingredient :

  • 2 tablespoons (60ml) olive or vegetable oil, divided, plus oil for frying the eggplant and optional tomato pieces

  • 2 pounds (900g) long, slender eggplant, trimmed, peeled, and halved lengthwise (see notes)

  • 1 pound (450g) boneless leg of lamb, shoulder, neck or shank, or stewing beef, cut in 1- to 1 1/2-inch chunks

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt; for table salt, use half as much by volume

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 small yellow onion (about 4 ounces; 114g), cut into 1/4-inch dice

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 3 tablespoons (45g) tomato paste

  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) fresh lemon juice, plus extra to taste

  • 1 medium tomato, cored and into 3 round slices (optional)

Direction :

  1. Set a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet and line with a triple layer of paper towels. Fill a 12-inch cast-iron skillet 1/4 inch deep with oil, then heat over medium-high heat until oil is shimmering but not smoking. Working in batches to prevent crowding the skillet, carefully add eggplant slices, cut side down, and fry, lowering the heat as needed to prevent the oil from smoking and flipping once halfway through, until eggplant is dark golden brown on both sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer eggplant to prepared wire rack. Repeat with remaining eggplant, topping up with additional oil if needed. Set cooked eggplant aside. 
  2. In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Season meat evenly with the salt and pepper and add to the saucepan in a single layer. Cook, turning occasionally, until meat is well browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer meat to a plate and set aside.
  3. Heat remaining fat in the Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering, and add chopped onion. Cook until the onion is softened and golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. 
  4. Stir in turmeric and cook until aromatic,  30 seconds. Stir in tomato paste and cook until well incorporated and beings to darken in color, 1 minute longer.
  5. Add 2 cups water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Scrape the bottom of the saucepan to free up any brown bits stuck to the bottom. Stir in the meat and return to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 10 minutes.

  6. Remove the lid and give the contents a gentle stir. Adjust the heat as needed to maintain a gentle simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes. Stir in lemon juice.

  7. Gently arrange the eggplant halves on top of the meat in an even layer, overlapping if needed. Using a spatula, gently press down on the eggplant and carefully shake the pot in a swirling motion to submerge the eggplant into the braising liquid (you don’t want to break the eggplant pieces by stirring them in). Cover and continue cooking at a gentle simmer for 30 minutes longer, swirling the pot every 10 minutes.

  8. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil over medium heat until shimmering, then cook the tomato slices until limp, about 5 minutes.

  9. Season with additional salt or lemon juice, if desired (Persian dishes are often more sour than salty, though feel free to follow your personal preferences). Gently transfer the finished braise to a serving dish. (Rather than spooning it in, which can break up the eggplant too much, I usually tip the pot carefully over the edge of the serving dish so that the contents can slowly slide into it.) Garnish with tomato slices and serve.

Add To Shopping List
Powered By