Shared Plates: December 2018 Contest Winner
Lebanese Okra Stew
Summar and Sufi, the husband and wife duo behind The Cozy Home Chronicles, are busier than most bloggers. (The couple’s last name has been omitted to protect their privacy.) In addition to running their DIY-centric site, Summar and Sufi are parents of two toddlers, and current grad students at Wayne State University. As a time-saver, they often use a slow-cooker to prepare flavorful dishes for their family. “Slow-cooking allows us to eat the nutritious home-cooked meals we love without the usual time investment,” says Summar, whose father passed down the recipe for their winning Lebanese Okra Stew. “Home cooking, for me, is an expression of my cultural heritage. This dish was one of my favorites growing up and I enjoy it even more now because I get to share it with my children.”
Recipe: Lebanese Okra Stew (Serves 6)
1-1 ½ pounds beef stew chunks
1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped, extra for garnish
8 garlic cloves minced
2 – 14 ounces bags frozen baby okra
4-6 cups of water
6 ounces organic tomato paste
2 tablespoons of olive oil, extra for roasting
½ tablespoon of kosher salt, more for taste
Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil in your instant pot and set to sauté mode for 10 minutes. When the oil gets hot, sear the beef stew chunks with kosher salt on all sides until nicely browned.
In the last minute of saute mode, add garlic and cilantro, and stir to coat the meat and release the flavors.
Add in water (4 cups if you prefer a thicker stew, 6 if you prefer it saucier), and set to slow cook for 6 hours.
In the meantime, set the oven to 400 degrees, and transfer the okra to a sheet pan, and spread to form one layer. Drizzle or spray okra with olive oil, salt, and roast for 45 minutes to one hour, or until crisped and golden brown.
After 6 hours, open slow cooker and add in roasted okra, tomato paste, and lemon juice. Taste the broth, and season with salt per your taste. Set to slow cook for an additional two hours.
Serve over traditional Lebanese vermicelli rice, alongside lemon wedges, radishes, and extra cilantro for garnish.