Ever since I first visited Georgia (then part of the Soviet Union) in the late 1980s, I have loved its cuisine, in particular a bright beef and red pepper stew called Salyanka. So, I was delighted when, on a recent trip to Israel with Mike Solomonov from Zahav Restaurant in Philadelphia, we decided to eat at Racha, a Georgian restaurant in downtown Jerusalem. As we entered the stone British Mandate office building where the restaurant is located, right across from the original office of the Jerusalem Post, I felt transported to a home in Racha, the western province in Georgia, whose Jewish community dates back 2,600 years.
- 2pounds beef stew meat, cubed
- 2large red bell peppers (about 1 pound), cut in 1-inch squares
- 7ounces high quality canned plum tomatoes (about 3 fresh plum tomatoes, peeled, crushed with your hands
- 2tablespoons tomato paste
- 2large onions, diced
- 5cloves garlic, minced
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Hot paprika to taste
- ½bunch parsley, chopped
Yield: 6-8 servings
- Step 1
Put the meat in a Dutch oven or similar heavy pot and cover with water. You’ll need about 3 cups. Bring to a boil and skim the foam off the top. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until almost tender, adding more water as necessary. You might have to periodically skim more foam off the top.
- Step 2
Add the red peppers and the tomatoes, stir, and cook uncovered for another 20 minutes.
- Step 3
Stir in the tomato paste, onions, and garlic, cover, and cook for another 40 minutes to 1 hour, until the beef is very tender and almost falling apart.
- Step 4
Season with salt, pepper, and paprika to taste and stir in half the parsley. Serve over rice, sprinkled with the remaining parsley.