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Slow Cooker Ghormeh Sabzi (Persian Herb Stew)

Cook time: 8 hours          Prep time: 1 hour          Serves: 10

Ghormeh Sabzi is a classic Persian dish - and it's very nutritious! It is basically a base of herbs and beef stew with some grape seed oil that is simmered for hours to meld all the flavors together and soften the meat. I tried adapting this recipe for a slow cooker to make it easier for moms and people on the go. Prep everything the night before and you can turn on your slow cooker before you leave for work the next day. Your house will smell like the hillsides of Iran by the time you get home. Yum!

Tip #1: Persian supermarkets sell chopped and frozen ghormeh sabzi mixes nowadays. Make sure to by the non-fried mixes so you can control the type and amount of salt and oil going into your recipe. The recipe below is made with fresh herbs.

Tip #2: You can also make this completely vegan by replacing the beef for extra firm tofu. Saute the onions on medium until they are soft, then brown the tofu for about 10 minutes. 

Thank you to MyPersianKitchen.com for the inspiration for this dish!

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch fenugreek (1 cup minced)
  • 1 bunch scallions (1/2 cup minced)
  • 1 bunch cilantro (1 cup minced)
  • 1 bunch parsley (1 cup minced)
  • ¾ bunch tareh - texture of a leek, packaged like chives (3/4 cup minced)
  • 1.5 cups chopped frozen spinach, thawed
  • 2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 onion, sliced 
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric 
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 small dried limes, poked with a fork
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 5 cups warm water, divided into 3 and 2 cups
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided 
  • 4 tablespoons grape seed oil, divided 

Directions:

1.    In a large saucepan, sauté the sliced onion with 1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil on medium high heat for 5 minutes. Add the turmeric and 1 teaspoon salt and stir well. Add the cubed beef and stir. Let it cook until all the water evaporates, about 20-25 minutes. Stir occasionally. Transfer the beef to the slow cooker.
2.    In the same saucepan, sauté the chopped herbs with 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil on medium high heat for 5 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker. 
3.    Put 2 cups of warm water in the saucepan on medium heat. Scrape the herbs off the sides and pour the herb water into the crock pot. Add the remaining 3 cups of water to the crock pot. Add the dried limes.
4.    Cook on medium for 6-8 hours. Add the kidney beans and cook for another 30 minutes. Add the fresh lemon juice and mix. Serve over rice.