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CHASHUSHULI, A GLORIOUS GEORGIAN BEEF STEW

CHASHUSHULI, A GLORIOUS GEORGIAN BEEF STEW

YOU’LL NEVER FORGET IT ONCE YOU TASTE CHASHUSHULI, A GEORGIAN BEEF STEW.

Chashushuli is an extraordinary beef and tomato stew.  There’s a hearty richness from both chuck roast and short ribs. But it’s the broth that separates this recipe from any other beef stew we’ve ever tasted. And what a surprise Georgian cooking is! We discovered that it’s the toast of Moscow. A blogger from St. Petersburg, Leah E., writes “Georgian restaurants are everywhere in Russia. Just like the British love Indian food and Americans love Mexican, so Georgian food is Russia’s foreign cuisine of choice. And looking at Georgia’s unique cooking style and dishes, it’s easy to see why. Georgia is a small country at the crossroads of Europe and Asia and the influence of both is evident in its dishes. Georgian food is gooey and spicy and best enjoyed alongside some sweet Georgian wine – in other words, a world away from traditional Russian fare. Perhaps that’s why the great poet Pushkin was so ready to sing the cuisine’s praises, declaring, “Every Georgian dish is a poem!”.  This particular “poem” stands out as one of our absolute favorites. And it owes its remarkable flavor to three key components:—basil, parsley, and, most particularly fresh oriandrum satvium. That’s cilantro to the rest of us.

CHASHUSHULI MAY CHANGE YOUR MIND ABOUT CILANTRO

What aromatic is more polarizing than Cilantro? Fruits, leaves and stems have been used in cooking since the second millennium BCE  It’s an essential part of Chinese, Thai, Mexican, and Indian cooking. No Tex-Mex salsa is complete without it.  But it’s still incredibly divisive. In his fascinating “The Secret History of Food”(Ecco 2021) Matt Siegal explains that dislike for cilantro is–believe it or not– genetic. He writes “People with a gene called OR6A2…tend to think cilantro…tastes like soap or smells like ‘bug-infested bedclothes’”. Thank you, Mr. Siegal, but in Chashushuli the combination of cilantro, parsley, and basil brings a freshness to the stew that we found intoxicating. But if you absolutely must, leave it out. The garlic, onions, jalapenos, basil, parsley, and lots of salt will bring your Chashushuli up to (almost) Georgian perfection. Or be adventurous, It really works here! (By the way, click on the Cilantro and you can grow your own!)

HERE’S THE RECIPE AND, AFTER IT, TEN OF OUR OTHER FAVORITE STEWS

CHASHUSHULI GEORGIAN BEEF STEW

January 30, 2024
: 6
: 45 min
: 2 hr
: Easy

An extraordinary beef and tomato stew. There’s a hearty richness from both chuck roast and short ribs. But it’s the broth that separates this recipe from any other beef stew we’ve ever tasted.

By:

Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 small yellow onions, chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 1 pound boneless chuck roast, cut into 1 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 pound boneless beef short ribs, cut into 1 1/4-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic (about 6 garlic cloves), divided
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes (undrained), crushed by hand
  • 3 cups water or unsalted beef broth
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 to 2 jalapeño chiles, seeded, if desired, and finely chopped
  • 6 cilantro sprigs plus 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided, plus more for garnish, if desired
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Directions
  • Step 1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-low. Add onions, and cook, stirring often, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer onions to a small bowl
  • Step 2 set aside. Add oil to Dutch oven, and increase heat to medium-high. Brown chuck roast and short ribs in 2 batches, flipping occasionally, until browned on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes per batch.
  • Step 3 Return all meat to the Dutch oven, and add onions, and 1 tablespoon of garlic. Cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add crushed tomatoes with juices, 3 cups water, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high. Stir in jalapeños. Remove from heat. Tie together cilantro sprigs using kitchen twine, and add to the Dutch oven.
  • Step 4 Cover the Dutch oven, and transfer to the preheated oven. Roast, stirring occasionally, until meat is fork-tender, about 2 hours. Remove from oven. Skim and discard oil that rises to the surface.
  • Step 5 Discard cilantro sprigs. Stir in chopped cilantro, basil, parsley, and remaining 1 tablespoon garlic. Let stand for 5 minutes. Garnish with additional cilantro and serve with polenta, if desired.
  • Step 6 Recipe Originally appeared in Food & Wine magazine, December 2023 / January 2024

OUR TOP TEN STEWS—PERFECT FOR COLD WINTER NIGHTS


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