A year ago I called in sick at work so that I could make a challah for Rosh Hashanah, after realizing that my challah was a flop, I threw the dough in the trash can and we ended up going out for dinner, botching my 1st attempt at a Rosh Hashanah dinner. Since I have so much more time on my hands now, and unfortunately don’t have a job to call in sick for, I made a dinner for the Jewish New Year.
The main dish that I made were meat tzimmes with carrots, sweet potatoes and prunes, all sweet vegetables and fruits to assure that the year to come is a sweet one. I love the way that food symbolizes what we would hope for in the year to come, sweetness and wealth. We could use a little of both!
Traditional Meat Tzimmes from 1,000 Jewish Recipes by Fay Levy
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 lbs beef for stew
- 2 large carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 to 4 cups water
- 1½ lbs orange fleshed sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- ¼ cup brown sugar or honey
- pinch of freshly ground pepper
- ½ lb pitted prunes
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
Heat oil in a Dutch oven or heavy casserole over medium heat. Add meat in batches and brown well on all sides. Remove from pan. Add onions and sauté until they brown thoroughly. Return meat to pan and add carrots, salt and enough water to just cover. Bring to a boil, skimming occasionally. Cover and simmer over low heat, skimming once or twice, for 1 hour.
After stew has cooked 1 hour, add sweet potatoes, sugar, and pepper and mix gently. Push vegetables into liquid. Bring to a boil. Partially cover and simmer over low heat 30 minutes. Meanwhile, soak prunes in enough hot water to cover for about 30 minutes.
Gently stir stew once. Remove prunes from their liquid, reserving liquid, and add prunes to pan. Uncover and simmer 30 minutes more or until meat is very tender. Occasionally stir very gently.
Mix flour with 2 tbsp prune soaking liquid in a small bowl. Gradually stir in about 1 cup of stew broth. Add this mixture to stew, stir very gently, and simmer about 5 minutes or until thickened. Adjust seasoning. Serve hot, from a deep serving dish.