“Simple ingredients keep flavor true.”

I found this recipe in a Milk Street magazine and tweaked it, of course.  It’s a wonderful  recipe showing how to make a stew without browning the meat.  It’s easily done and the resulting flavors are great!


1 T sweet paprika

2 t ground cumin

1 t ground cardamom

1/4 t cinnamon


11/4 pound boneless beef chuck, cut into 3/4 inch pieces

1 head garlic

2 T butter

2 cups diced yellow onion

2 T tomato paste

6 1/2 cups water

2 to 3 medium carrots, cut into 1/2 inch lengths

1 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

3 T lemon juice

whole-milk yogurt, Greek is great


In a bowl combine the paprika, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, 2t salt, and 1/2 t pepper.  Toss HALF this spice mixture with the beef chunks.  Take the head of garlic and chop off the top third.  Leave the garlic head intact.

In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat melt the butter and add the onion.  Cook and stir for about 5 to 8 minutes until the onions begin to brown around the edges.

Add the reserved spice mixture and the tomato paste.  Cook and stir for about a minute.

Add the water and bring to a boil.  Add the beef and the garlic head, cut side down.  Cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar.  Reduce the heat to low and cook for about 90 minutes. Check in now and then to make sure there’s a gentle bubbling going on in the pan.

Add the carrots and continue to simmer another 30 minutes in the partially covered, gently simmering pan.

At the end you’re going to want to remove the head of garlic with a tong and give it a squeeze to release the cloves.  Stir these into the stew along with the lemon juice.  Adjust the S&P.  Top with the cilantro or parsley and a dollop of yogurt.


The original recipe was made with lamb with directions for the beef option, and also contained garbanzo beans and chopped baby spinach.  It wasn’t my cup of tea.  I made it that way, always trying recipes in their original state, but added frozen peas.  The dollop of Greek yogurt on the top was a nice, finishing touch.

The original recipe also offered the substitution of parsley for cilantro.  Yes, for me.  I’m not a fan of cilantro.

Because of this recipe I’m sure we’ll have beef stew more often.  Over mashed?  Yes!  One last thing – make sure to check the “use by” dates on your spices. The spices in my cabinet that were more than 5 years over their expiration year got tossed.  I’m right on top of things!

Loveya – The Grandma

Entree Grandma Pat Cooks

Grandma Pat View All →

Artist, African hand drum student, yoga neophyte, and Grandmother of 22 or so grandchildren. I enjoy cooking and writing. I value good friends and quiet times for reading.

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