09 May 2016

Persian green garlic and celery stew

Karafs (celery in Farsi) stew is typically cooked with a herb mixture of mint and parsley. Inspired by north Iranian Caspian dishes, I replaced parsley with green garlic in this spring version. Ramp or garlic scapes could also be used for the purpose.

Ingredients:

750 gr (1.5 lbs) stewing beef or lamb with bones or 500 gr boneless)
Salt and pepper to taste
400 gr (14 Oz) green garlic, finely chopped
50 gr (2 Oz) mint leaves, finely chopped
2 medium onions (or 3/4 cup of caramelized onion)
500 gr (1.1 lbs) celery stalks, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon turmeric
3 slices of preserved lemon (or juice of a fresh lemon)
4 cups of water (or beef  stock in case of boneless meat)

Pinch of saffron 
Version 1: Season the meat with salt and pepper and brown all sides in a hot pan. In another pan sauté herbs and when dry add celery pieces. Add turmeric, caramelized onions, the stock and preserved lemons slices. Alternatively you can add fresh lemon juice before serving. 

Braise in a slow-cooker or simmer on very low heat in a pan with the lid on. Add saffron and serve. This version has a very mild garlic flavor as garlic loses pungency as a result of long-slow cooking process.  

Version 2: repeat the same process as version 1, but reserve half of the green garlic.

When ready to serve, sauté the other half of the green garlic with salt and pepper till garlic pieces are tender. Add to garlic mixture and saffron to the stew and serve with Persian rice.

This version has a pungent,  rather pleasant, garlic flavor.

Note that this is not the traditional approach to make Persian celery stew but is a variation invented by me!. 

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