My noble husband, hearing my cries of distress, braved the elements of a scary Kroger’s parking lot in Norwood, Ohio and procured more meat. Georgian Beef Stew was made. And it was excellent.
Nothing particularly hard about the recipe – the meat is braised in a way that I had never tried before, but it was fun learning a new cooking technique. The only painful part for me was chopping up three onions – I love them but oh lordy do my eyes water. I probably should think about wearing swimming goggles or something.
The recipe is adapted from an excellent cookbook, The Georgian Feast: The Vibrant Culture and Savory Foods of the Republic of Georgia by Darra Goldstein. Which is a Julia Child Cookbook Awards Book of the Year, by the way.
Vibrant is correct; I am absolutely in love with the exuberance Georgian culture has for food, drink, and celebration. They seem to like to have fun.
Georgian Beef Stew (Sousi)
- 2 pounds stewing beef, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) butter
- 3 medium onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 28oz can of tomatoes, diced (drained)
- 1 28oz can of tomatoes, pureed
- 2 bays leaves
- 4 cups chopped cilantro (1/4 pound)
- 4 cups chopped basil (1/4 pound)
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1 hot red or green pepper, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup water
- Freshly ground black pepper
- In a dutch oven cook the meat, covered, over low heat until it begins to sweat
- Without adding any liquid, braise the meat for about 10 minutes, stirring once.
- Uncover the pan and turn the heat to high. Cook for another 10 minutes, until the liquid evaporates.
- Add the butter at this point, and cook the meat over medium high heat for about 10 minutes more, stirring occasionally, until it browns. Next, add the onions and potatoes and cook for 5 minutes more.
- Add the tomatoes along with the remaining ingredients, seasoning to taste with pepper. Mix well. Simmer, covered, for 1 hour.
I never peel potatoes unless I really, really have to.
Also, I used just half of a jalapeno (the only hot pepper I had on hand) due to my husband’s very sensitive palette. However, this stew can totally handle a whole pepper without becoming “too spicy”. I’ll go for the full deal next time.
I went simple and just served it with some crusty whole grain bread and some red wine. I haven’t had a chance to shop for Georgian wines yet, but from what I understand they are often a bit sweeter than what is consumed in my household. But we had a nice Cabernet Franc from Pelee Island Winery on hand, and it went very well.
Another winner all the way around!