Skip To Content
Get Our Newsletter

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe

Root Vegetable and Medjool Date Stew

Serves 6 to 8

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours

The Medjool dates in this wintery stew soak up the sauce but still hold their shape during cooking. I use white wine instead of red. It helps prevent the lighter-colored root vegetables from getting too dark (though if you use beets, you’ll have a pinkish — but no less delicious — stew), and I love the way its flavor melds with the chopped preserved lemon I stir in toward the end.

2½ pounds beef stew meat, cut into 2-inch chunks
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, cut into chunks
5 whole garlic cloves
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon paprika
1 cup dry white wine
3½ cups beef or chicken broth
2 thyme sprigs
½ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
2 pounds root vegetables (celery root, carrots, parsnips, potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, beets), peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
8 small or 6 medium Medjool dates, pitted but left whole
1 tablespoon chopped Preserved Lemon (page 38 or store-bought) or finely chopped fresh lemon

  1. Season the meat generously with salt and pepper. Place the flour in a resealable plastic bag, add the meat, and shake to coat. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown the meat until seared on all sides, 8 minutes total. Remove the meat to a plate.

  2. Add the onions and garlic to the pot and cook, stirring, until slightly softened, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the tomato paste and paprika and cook, stirring, until slightly caramelized, 2 minutes.

  3. Add the wine and 2 teaspoons salt, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the wine is mostly evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Return the meat to the pot along with 2½ cups of the broth, the thyme, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and cook until the meat begins to become tender, 1 hour. Add the root vegetables and dates with the remaining broth, return to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 1 hour more. Stir in the preserved lemon 5 minutes before serving.

From “Sababa: Fresh, Sunny Flavors From my Israeli Kitchen,” by Adeena Sussman, published by AVERY, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Copyright © 2019




Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free under an Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives Creative Commons license as long as you follow our republishing guidelines, which require that you credit Foward and retain our pixel. See our full guidelines for more information.

To republish, copy the HTML, which includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline, and credit to Foward. Have questions? Please email us at

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.