Prunes, chickpeas and ginger combine their forces in to this crammed with hearty flavors slow cooked pot, a perfect combination for a jolt of much needed energy to help us sustain our daily actions.
Prunes for fiber, chickpeas for nutrient-rich energy, ginger as an antioxidant and a generous amount of fork tender bits of beef; this pot is a darling at my house on wintery Sunday family dinners, when warmth and restoring strength are very much a necessity. Let’s put power back in to the right hands and the force of sustenance in to our family bellies.
Beef, Prunes Chickpeas Slow Cooked Pot
This is a Tagine, or slow cooker kind of recipe. It takes about 2 1/2 hours to cook but once you prep it, you don't have much else to worry about.
Servings 8 people
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 1/2 hours
1 cup canned chickpeas drained dried ones could be used, but must be soaked overnight
1 tbsp olive oil
1 largeyellow onion chopped
2 medium celery stalks chopped
2 medium cloves of garlic minced
2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 tsp grounded cinnamon
salt and pepper
1 pinchsaffron threads
1 pound cubed lean beef lamb, chicken or pork would work well
1 can crushed tomatoes
4 cups chicken or beef stock
3/4 cup pitted prunes
1/2 cup chopped eggplant
1/2 medium juice of a lemon
1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves chopped
Servings: 8 people
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven of a heavy pot or a slow cooker. Add the onions, celery, and garlic stirring until the onions soften.
Add the ginger, cinnamon and the salt and pepper. Stir and add the saffron threads; cook always stirring, about 2 minutes. Add the beef and cook for 5 minutes until browned.
Add the chickpeas and the crushed tomatoes and stir. Add the stock, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes on low. heat.
Add the prunes and the chopped eggplants; simmer covered for 1 hour.
Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. Add the juice of the lemon and stir then add the chopped coriander leaves and serve.
Add some chili flakes or harissa for heat. Freeze the leftovers. Serve with long grain or brown rice.
About Silvia Baldini: Following a distinguished and award winning career as an art director on Madison Avenue, Silvia pursued culinary training at ICC in NYC and Cordon Bleu in London. She worked at Michelin-star kitchens in Europe, the Ritz Carlton in London.
She then founded, her now established creative food group Strawberry and Sage in CT,
She is the writer of the blog Silvia’s Trays. Silvia has appeared on local TV,
national TV and Food Network shows. After Chef Chris Santos declared her dessert: “The best dessert on this show ever,” she became the first professional woman chef in Connecticut to win Chopped, the award winning show on Food Network.
She has returned on Food Network as one of 16 chefs competing in the last season
of Chopped Champions. Her work and recipes have been mentioned and published among others publications in Bon Appetit, Parent Magazine, TeenVogue, Readers Digest, Thrillist, CTBites, the Jamie Oliver food revolution blog, The James Beard blog, Ct Post, and many other national and international publications.
Silvia is featured in a series of videos and in articles in Saveur. She makes appearances on morning TV shows om ABC channel 8, CNN and DR OZ.
She is frequently a key speaker and a leading panelist and she is an expert and adviser with extensive experience in the food and media industry.
She is also a member of theNew York Women’s Culinary Alliance.
Silvia is currently having fun, writing her first, cookbook and she is the proud mother of two beautiful and always hungry children.