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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

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