Monday, March 05, 2007

Beef Tzimmes with Butternut Squash

Tzimmes, for the uninitiated, is a sweet, slow-cooked Jewish stew or casserole that usually features root vegetables, honey, cinnamon and prunes but has as many variations as there are Jewish families. Growing up we ate it mostly for Passover or Rosh Hashanah. I've labelled it as a Thanksgiving recipe as well, simply because of the seasonal nature of the ingredients. The word tzimmes is used to refer to "a state of confusion" or "to make a fuss about something" in Yiddish, though from what I've heard it actually originates from the words zum ("to the") and essen ("eating"). Don't quote me on that, I speak only a bissel of Yiddish.

Some of you have made and enjoyed my vegetarian tzimmes recipe. Well, here's a delicious twist for the meat lovers out there. Slightly adapted from this recipe, this tzimmes features tender, slow-cooked beef and sweet butternut squash. It makes a wonderful and filling main dish. I love it! Many thanks to Mirj, who shared this recipe and considers it a family favorite. Es gezunterheyt!


2 lbs boneless lean beef chuck, trimmed of fat
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and cut in 1 inch chunks
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 to 2 1/2 cups water
2 lbs butternut squash
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/4 cups prunes, pitted and cut in half
Juice of 1 large orange

Cut beef into 1 1/2- 2 inch pieces and pat them dry. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy stew pan. Add the beef cubes in 2 batches, browning each lightly on all sides over medium-high heat and removing browned meat with a slotted spoon to a plate.

Add remaining oil and heat it. Add onion and saute over medium heat, until brown, stirring often. Return meat to pan, along with any juices on plate. Add carrots, salt, a generous amount of fresh ground pepper, and enough water to just cover the meat and vegetables. Bring to a boil, skimming fat off the top occasionally. Cover and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the beef is tender.

Peel the squash and cut it in half lengthwise. Remove seeds from cavity and cut squash into 1" cubes. Add honey, orange juice, cinnamon and squash to the stew, pushing the squash pieces into the liquid. Cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add prunes and cook for an additional 15 minutes or until squash is tender. Adjust seasoning and serve hot.


Lynn Barry said...

This looks scrumptious! Like beef stew but better. Thanks. HUGS

Myrtille said...

Very appetizing...I know the traditional tzimmes! I will definetly try this one.

~M said...

Mmm! I appreciate your deglutenizing so many of my traditional Jewish foods. Have you considered making kreplach?

ByTheBay said...

What a great suggestion - But can you believe it? I've never had kreplach! I know, it's a shonde. So if I make them, I have no way of knowing if they're realistic. Maybe I'll wait to make them until I'm back in NY where my parents are (I'm moving in late April) since I'm sure one or both of them has had kreplach.

K Allrich said...

Loved this beef and butternut combo- so I linked to it. Your recipe is on my to-make list.

Hugs from New Mexico- Karina

~M said...

Hi Bay!

I was wondering whether you had located a kosher all-beef hot dog that is gf [and tasty!].

Todah Rabbah,

ByTheBay said...

M: I've never met a kosher hot dog that WASN'T gluten-free, actually. The ones I've seen that have fillers (which most do, unfortunately - there doesn't seem to be an all-natural, no-fillers kosher hot dog on the market) use potato starch or soy protein. THe one I like best is this one. It's not actually very spicy, just a little smoky. Very tasty:

Abeles & Heymann Kosher Beef Chipotle Pepper Franks

Other than that I usually eat Shop Rite or Empire brand chicken or beef dogs.