Mansaf – Middle Eastern Lamb Dish

Mansaf – Middle Eastern Lamb Dish

mensaf Mansaf, Fatiyeh, or Fatihah this traditional middle eastern lamb stew in yogurt sauce is a big part of Arabic cuisine.  It is a favorite dish for large gatherings including weddings and engagement parties.  In short it plays a large part in Middle Eastern hospitality.

In my experience folks in the Arab world are very hospitable and generous. Rolling out a huge tray of Mansaf is a sign of respect and welcome to anyone visiting an Arab home whether it be in Jordan, Dubai, Europe, or America.

But of course this traditional dish has several names depending on the country or even city one is in.  In most countries like Jordan and Lebanon it’s called Mansaf; it’s the same dish Palestinians from the West Bank call Fatiyeh or Fatihah and those who hail closer to the larger cities call Mensaf.  Whatever it’s called it’s basically the same dish with a few regional additions to the toppings.

So what is Mansaf?  It’s a dish typically made with Lamb that’s simmered in a yogurt sauce made from reconstituted “Chisitch/Kishk/Jameed” (fermented or dried sheeps’ milk yogurt.)  Then the meat and sauce are served on a bed of torn unleavened bread like Shrak or pita and rice.  The whole dish can be topped with fresh parsley and sprinkled with toasted pine nuts; or as I’ve been taught by some of my Palestinian husband’s friends a ring of fried onions and tomatoes.

Really the secret ingredient, or not so secret, is the Chisitch.  Okay it’s not the easiest thing to get your hands on.  I usually get the dried balls of Chisitch from my husband’s relatives who travel to and from the Middle East or my sister-in-law who actually makes it!  I’ve also been able to buy it from a market in Oman during one of my trips there.  But you might be able to find it at a middle eastern market where it’s usually called Kishk or Jameed.  It’s available in liquid or powder form.  Or you can believe it or not order it from Amazon by clicking this affiliate link!   

If all else fails and you simply can not get a hold of Chisitch/Kishk/Jameed then use Buttermilk!  Yes the carton you find in your grocer’s diary section.  Good old fashioned buttermilk, the stuff you can use to make Buttermilk pancakes and biscuits!

If you’re using balls of chisitch from where ever you must reconstitute it – meaning soak the balls in water overnight, then place all of it in your blender until it is liquified.  You might need to add water to the blender to get the liquid you need.

If you’re using powdered kishk or jameed then dissolve it in water.  Obviously the easiest one to use would be liquid jameed or buttermilk.

Whichever one you use the real secret is to keep the jameed or kishk liquid from curdling when you add it to your meat.  To do that you must temper it by slowly stirring the liquid into a little bit of lamb broth.  This brings the temperature of the jameed up to the temperature of the stewed meat.

To season this dish I use my Lebanese 7 Spices Mix Click here for that recipe!

So if you want to try this yummy dish at home scroll down for my recipe.  It’s pretty fussy, it takes me a whole afternoon too make it!  This recipe is for a fairly small tray, you can double or triple it if you need to make a large tray for more people.

By the way Mansaf or Fatihah is traditionally eaten with one’s fingers right off the serving tray.  The polite and proper way to eat this dish is to use your fingers to take bite-sized portions from the tray and pop it in your mouth.  You take portions only from the meat and rice that is directly in front of you; respect other diner’s tray space.  That’s how it’s traditionally eaten; at our house it’s served family style with a serving spoon used to spoon a portion on to each person’s plate and we uses forks and knives.

 

Mansaf
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Mansaf
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Place meat in large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil.
  2. While meat boils fat will come to the surface. Skim off fat and discard. Continue this process until fat stops forming on the surface.
  3. Strain meat and set aside while you thoroughly wash out the pot. Dry pot before proceeding.
  4. Heat 1 Tbs. Olive Oil in pot and add 1 portion of chopped onions. Cook onions until they start to soften.
  5. Add meat and Lebanese 7 Spices Mix and stir well. Cook until onions become translucent.
  6. Add beef broth to cover meat. Bring to a boil.
  7. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 2 hours.
  8. Meanwhile you can prepare other parts of the dish.
  9. Heat remaining Olive Oil in frying pan and add remaining chopped onions. Cook until onions start to soften.
  10. Add garlic to pan and cook about 1 minute stirring constantly.
  11. Add chopped tomatoes and cook until tomatoes are soft and juices start to come out. Salt & Pepper to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.
  12. Melt 2 Tbs. Butter in saute pan and toast pine nuts until they start to turn golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
  13. About 30 minutes before stew is cooked prepare rice by first melting remaining butter in pot.
  14. Add Vermecelli and saute until pasta starts to turn golden brown.
  15. Add dry rice and saute another minute.
  16. Stir in about 4 cups of water to cover the rice. Cook covered over low heat for 20 minutes or until rice is cooked. Let rest at least 5 minutes to absorb any remaining water.
  17. Check you meat. It should be tender and falling off the bone.
  18. If meat is cooked turn down heat very low.
  19. Remove about 1 cup of broth from pot to temper your jameed or buttermilk.
  20. Slowly pour liquid jameed or buttermilk into that broth. Stirring only in one direction as you add the jameed. This is tempering the jameed. It is very important that you stir as you combine the liquids and stir only in one direction to keep the jameed from curdling.
  21. Once the jameed is tempered using the same procedure slowly add the tempered jameed into the pot of stew.
  22. Simmer on low heat for about 20 Minutes.
  23. Meanwhile prepare your serving tray. Break up the bread into pieces and place pieces on to the tray.
  24. Cover bread with rice.
  25. Place meat on the rice. Pour yogurt sauce (liquid you cooked meat in) over the meat and rice.
  26. Spoon tomato mixture around the meat.
  27. Sprinkle with pine nuts and serve.
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Homemade Corned Beef Hash

Homemade Corned Beef Hash

Corned Beef Hash is one of our favorite breakfast foods; actually we like it anytime of day.  We usually order it at one of our favorite coffee shops and they all serve the canned version.  Mind you we’re good with that, but have you ever had fresh homemade Corned Beef Hash?  Believe me once you do it’s hard to settle for the canned stuff!

Since St. Patrick’s day was just a couple of days ago I’m sure like me you’re wondering what to do with that left over Corned  Beef & Cabbage you had for dinner last Sunday!  Well wonder not more!  Turn it into Corned Beef Hash and serve it for breakfast or even dinner tonight!  I know I will!

Homemade Corned Beef Hash is a great way to use that leftover brisket.  It’s easy, it’s fast, and it’s very yummy!  So let’s make some hash!

By the way it would be an awesome addition to a Mother’s or Father’s Day Breakfast of Brunch!

Ingredients

Left over Corned Beef Brisket (if you don’t have leftovers then cook a brisket in your crock pot or Instant Pot.  Click here for my Instant Pot Corned Beef & Cabbage recipe)

3 – 4 Yukon Gold Potatoes – Peeled, boiled, diced (If you have leftover potatoes from dinner just dice those)

1 Small Onion finely diced

1 Tbs. Minced Garlic

1/2 Tsp. Paprika

1/4 Cup beef broth

Oil for Frying

Directions

Prepare your brisket and potatoes

Heat oil in frying pan

Saute onions until they start to turn translucent

Add garlic and saute until they start to turn brown

Add diced corned beef and potatoes

Sprinkle with paprika and mix well

Spread corned beef mixture evenly in frying pan and smush down with back of your spatula

Pour beef broth over all

Turn down heat and simmer until liquid is mostly gone

Flip corned beef over and smush down again with back of spatula

Cook another 5 minutes or until dry

Serve with hash brown potatoes and fried eggs.

 

 

Homemade Corned Beef Hash
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Homemade Corned Beef Hash
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Prepare brisket and potatoes
  2. Heat oil in frying pan
  3. Saute onions until they turn translucent
  4. Add garlic and saute until garlic starts to brown
  5. Add diced corned beef and potatoes
  6. Sprinkle with paprika and mix well
  7. Spread corned beef mixture evenly in pan and smush down with back of spatula
  8. Pour broth over all and reduce heat
  9. Cook until liquid is almost gone
  10. Flip corned beef over and smush down again with back of spatula
  11. Cook another 5 minutes or until all liquid is gone
  12. Serve with hash brown potatoes and fried eggs.
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Instant Pot Corned Beef & Cabbage

Instant Pot Corned Beef & Cabbage

corned beef & cabbageHappy St. Patrick’s Day!  Well it will be in a couple of days.  So what’s for dinner on St. Paddy’s Day?  Why Corned Beef & Cabbage of course!

You don’t have to be Irish to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day or love Corned Beef & Cabbage.  I suppose you could say that every year on March 17th.  we’re all Irish, if only for a day!  And you don’t have to wait for St. Patrick’s Day to enjoy some Corned Beef & Cabbage, you can have it any day of the year.  But you might notice that most markets don’t always stock corned beef year round, and if they do it’s very expensive.  So do what I do and pick up several packages of corned beef when they’re on sale around St. Patrick’s Day.  Just toss them in your freezer they’ll keep for months and thaw them out when you feel like having a bit of Irish during the year!

I used to make my Corned Beef & Cabbage in my crock pot, the corned beef part at least.  Then I’d boil the veggies on the stove just before serving.  Believe me you don’t want to cook your cabbage with the brisket in the crock pot; you’ll end up with mush!

Anyway since I got my handy dandy new Instant Pot last Christmas I’ve been making Corned Beef & Cabbage in there!  Now just like you don’t want mushy veggies when you use a crock pot, you don’t toss in the veggies into the Instant Pot with the brisket; but you don’t need to cook them on the stove either (that’s just one more pot to wash in my opinion!)

Today I’ll tell you how to make Corned Beef & Cabbage in your Instant Pot!  Not only do you use just one pot, you can get the meal done in less than 2 hours!  How easy is that?

Not only is making Corned Beef & Cabbage quicker and easier in the Instant Pot, it comes out better too!  We all agreed that the corned beef comes out more tender without falling apart like it does when cooked in a slow cooker.  The meat also comes out with a very nice appealing texture and it’s very tasty too!  So without further ado here’s my recipe for Instant Pot Corned Beef & Cabbage!

This article contains affiliate links

Ingredients

3-4 Lbs. Corned Beef Brisket – you might need 2 packages

Seasoning Packet included in the Brisket

1 Large Onion – Diced

6 Cloves Garlic – Peeled and cut into halves

1 Bottle of Guinness or Dark Beer

6 Yukon Gold Potatoes – Peeled and cut in half

1 Large Head of Cabbage – Cut into large wedges

2 Cups Baby Carrots

Directions

Remove corned beef brisket or briskets from packages and rinse with cold water

Place in Instant Pot Fat side down

Rub contents of seasoning packet or packets on the corned beef brisket

Add Onions & Garlic to the Instant Pot

Pour in beer being careful not to wash seasonings off the brisket

Seal the lid making sure the steam release valve is set to sealing

Set the Instant Pot on Manual and adjust time to 90 minutes

Once the pot turns off let it release the steam naturally for 10 minutes then carefully turn the valve to release the pressure

Open the lid and remove the corned beef brisket from the pot.  Place it on a serving dish and let rest.  Spoon some of the broth over the brisket to keep it from drying.

Leave the remaining broth in pot and place veggies inside.

Seal the lid making sure the valve is back on sealing.

Set the pot on manual and adjust time to 3 minutes.

When the pot turns off carefully manually release the pressure.

Open lid and place veggies on platter with corned beef.

Store left over corned beef in some of the broth to keep it from drying out.

corned beef & cabbage
Instant Pot Corned Beef & Cabbage
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corned beef & cabbage
Instant Pot Corned Beef & Cabbage
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Remove brisket or briskets from package and rinse with cold water
  2. Place brisket into Instant Pot fat side down
  3. Rub contents of seasoning packet or packets on brisket
  4. Add Onions and Garlic
  5. Carefully pour in Guinness or beer being careful not to wash off seasonings
  6. Secure lid making sure valve is set to sealing position
  7. Turn pot on manual and adjust time to 90 minutes
  8. When pot turns off allow to release steam naturally for 10 minutes
  9. Carefully turn valve to release and let steam out.
  10. Open lid and remove brisket. Place brisket on to serving dish and let rest. Spoon some broth over brisket to keep it from drying out.
  11. Keep remaining broth in pot and place veggies into pot
  12. Seal the lid making sure the valve is back on sealing position
  13. Set pot to manual and adjust time to 3 minutes
  14. When pot turns off carefully release the pressure
  15. Transfer veggies to serving dish and serve
  16. Store leftover brisket with some of the broth to keep it from drying out.
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Mungo Guisado – Filipino Mung Bean Stew

Mungo Guisado – Filipino Mung Bean Stew

Mungo Guisado Mungo Guisado or Filipino Mung Bean Stew is a classic comfort dish, it’s one of my favorites.  Mung beans in case you didn’t know are the beans that produce bean sprouts.  That crunchy sprout commonly used in many types of Asian Cuisine.

In many Mungo Guisado recipes including the one my grandmothers used they would soak the dried mung beans, in Tagalog its called Mungo beans, in water for hours.  My recipe doesn’t call for soaking the beans; skipping the soaking step in my opinion makes my recipe much easier as you don’t have to plan on making the dish hours ahead.

I love mungo guisado on cold rainy days.  Eaten with freshly steamed white rice makes it a filling and comforting meal. I use bok choi, Chinese cabbage, in my recipe; but you can use any type of leafy greens such as spinach, bitter melon leaves, kale, or mustard greens.

Here’s my recipe, hope you love it as much as I do!

Ingredients:

2 Cups Dried Mung Beans – available in the Asian markets

2 Tbs. Vegetable oil

1 Large onion chopped

1 Tbs minced garlic

1 Cup tomatoes diced

6+ Cups Water

2 – 3 Tbs Patis – Fish Sauce – adjust to suit your taste

1 Lb. Shrimp shelled and deveined

1 Large Bunch of Bok Choi or other leafy greens roughly chopped

Directions:

Heat oil in large pot

Sauté onions until they start to turn translucent

Add Garlic until it starts to brown

Add Tomatoes and cook until they start to soften

Add dried mungo beans

Add at least 6 cups water and stir well

Bring to a boil then reduce heat and cover pot

Cook for at least an hour or until the beans are softened to your liking – you may have to add more water if the mixture is too thick – add water 1 cup at a time until you get the desired consistency

Stir in Patis and shrimp -you can adjust amount of fish sauce to your liking  or leave it at 2-3 tbs and let everyone add more later if they prefer

Cook another 8 minutes or so until shrimp is cooked, they are pink

Add bok choi or leafy greens

Stir in and cook until leaves are wilted

Mungo Guisado Serve hot

 

 

 

 

 

Mungo Guisado
Mungo Guisado - Filipino Mung Bean Stew
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Mungo Guisado
Mungo Guisado - Filipino Mung Bean Stew
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in large pot
  2. Sauté onions until they start to turn translucent
  3. Add Garlic until it starts to brown
  4. Add Tomatoes and cook until they start to soften
  5. Add dried mungo beans
  6. Add at least 6 cups water and stir well
  7. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and cover pot
  8. Cook for at least an hour or until the beans are softened to your liking - you may have to add more water if the mixture is too thick - add water 1 cup at a time until you get the desired consistency
  9. Stir in Patis and shrimp -you can adjust amount of fish sauce to your liking  or leave it at 2-3 tbs and let everyone add more later if they prefer
  10. Cook another 8 minutes or so until shrimp is cooked, they are pink
  11. Add bok choi or leafy greens
  12. Stir in and cook until leaves are wilted Serve hot
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Instant Pot Beef Stew

Instant Pot Beef Stew

Instant Pot Beef StewLast Christmas one of my daughters gifted me an Instant Pot Lux80.  (There it is in the box.) I have to admit it looked intimidating; took me almost a month before I took it out of the box, and only after watching videos and reading lots of internet articles.  Now what exactly is an Instant Pot you may ask.  The best answer would be that it’s a crockpot on steroids.  It can do just about everything a crockpot does but it does it faster.  That’s why it takes only 35 minutes to make Instant Pot Beef Stew!

35 minutes to make tender falling apart beef stew!  Yes I kid you not the actual cooking time for Instant Pot Beef Stew is 35 minutes!  And yes the meat, you can use even the least expensive cuts, are literally falling apart!  Ok, the actual time I spent making Instant Pot Beef Stew was closer to an hour, that included chopping, browning, AND cooking and venting.  So really dinner was ready in about an hour.  Sure beats cooking stew in your crockpot all day!

Can you tell yet what I first made in my handy dandy new gadget?  Yup, you got it I made Instant Pot Beef Stew!  And the best part is it doesn’t take a lot of planning.

When I made beef stew in my old crockpot I had to thaw out the beef the night before then get up early to chop veggies and brown the beef on the stove top.  I had to do all that before I could toss it all in the crockpot and press cook.  Now it wasn’t that big a deal, that is until I realized what my new Instant Pot could do!  I didn’t have to thaw meat the night before, I could actually toss semi-frozen meat in the pot if I wanted to!

instant pot beef stew

Did I mention that my Instant Pot Beef Stew turned out amazing?  My family raved about it!  In fact I had made a big pot – the model I have is 8 quarts – and we had the left overs for dinner the next day!  So without further ado here’s my recipe!  Hope you love it as much as we do!

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Ingredients:

3 Lbs. Beef Cut into 1″ cubes – you can use any cut of beef you want, I usually use a chuck roast

2 Tbs.  Olive Oil

1 Tbs. Italian Seasoning

1/4 Cup Worcestershire Sauce

2 Tbs. Minced Garlic

1 Large Onion Cut in large pieces

2 Cups Baby Carrots

2 Cups Baby Potato Medley

2 Cups Celery Cut in large pieces

3 Cups Beef Broth

1 Cup Tomato Sauce

Salt & Pepper to taste

1/4 Cup Corn Starch

1/4 Cup water

Directions:

instant pot beef stewPrep ingredients – Cut all the meat & veggies to size

Separate Beef from the veggies as you will be using it first and you don’t want the veggies sitting in raw beef juices

Add olive oil to Instant Pot and set on Sauté

When pot is hot enough place cubed beef into pot

 

Instant pot beef stewBrown all the sides of the beef

Add Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, garlic, worcestershire sauce, and mix well

Switch pot off and add veggies, beef broth, and tomato sauce

Stir well making sure to scrape off any meat or seasoning at the bottom of the pot

Set Instant Pot on Manual and adjust time to 35 minutes

Secure lid making sure the valve is on the sealing position

When pot beeps wait 10 minutes then set the valve to venting to release remaining pressure

Meanwhile dissolve cornstarch in water

When pressure has been completely released remove pot lid

Stir in cornstarch water to get desired thickness.  If you want thicker sauce add more dissolved cornstarch slowly until you get the thickness you want.

Serve with steamed rice or some nice crusty bread to sop up all that meaty goodness!

Left overs can be stored in the fridge for a day or so, stew always tastes better the next day!  Or for longer storage place stew in freezer safe containers, label with date, and freeze until needed.  It will keep in the freezer for about 2-3 months.  Reheat in the microwave or stove top.

 

 

 

 

instant pot beef stew
Instant Pot Beef Stew
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instant pot beef stew
Instant Pot Beef Stew
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Prep ingredients - Cut all the meat & veggies to size Separate Beef from the veggies as you will be using it first and you don't want the veggies sitting in raw beef juices
    instant pot beef stew
  2. Add olive oil to Instant Pot and set on Sauté When pot is hot enough place cubed beef into pot Brown all the sides of the beef  Add Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, garlic, worcestershire sauce, and mix well
    Instant pot beef stew
  3. Switch pot off and add veggies, beef broth, and tomato sauce Stir well making sure to scrape off any meat or seasoning at the bottom of the pot Set Instant Pot on Manual and adjust time to 35 minutes Secure lid making sure the valve is on the sealing position
  4. When pot beeps wait 10 minutes then set the valve to venting to release remaining pressure Meanwhile dissolve cornstarch in water When pressure has been completely released remove pot lid Stir in cornstarch water to get desired thickness.  If you want thicker sauce add more dissolved cornstarch slowly until you get the thickness you want.   Serve with steamed rice or some nice crusty bread to sop up all that meaty goodness!
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