There is nothing more comforting than Meat and Potatoes, especially on a rainy, gloomy somewhat depressing (for other reasons) night. I must have made dozens of dishes whose main actors include the aforementioned. One thing always hold true: they never fail in taste. Be it the slow cooker beef stew, or the main character of this post (very similar to beef stew), they always taste great. They do evolve, but always remain true to their intended purpose: to satisfy and soothe the soul.
Adjab Sandal is the Azeri version of Beef Stew, with a few twists. One, there are tomatoes and eggplant present. Two, cinnamon. Yes. Cinnamon. It’s an ingredient present in main dishes, especially meat dishes quite often (among other spices). It gives the meat flavor unlike any other. It adds a certain kick to the dish. I love this dish. It’s relatively easy to make too.
1 LB beef stew, or beef chuck cut up into small pieces
2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp pepper
1.5 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 clove of garlic, diced
1 large onion, sliced into half rings
1/2 cup olive oil
3 large russet potatoes, sliced into circles
1 medium eggplant, or 1/2 a large eggplant
1 large tomato, sliced
1 cup water
Dill, chopped for garnish.
Combine the first 6 ingredients in a medium size bowl. Set aside for about 20 minutes. Heat up olive oil in a dutch oven
pan (what is the proper name for them?). When oil is substantially hot, add the meat and fry up for a few minutes.
NOTE: this is where I always mess up, not sure why. My meat never starts frying right away. It releases juices, boils a little and then when the juices evaporate, starts frying. It may be because I crowd my meat, or because I don’t dry it enough so it retains water. Either way, I am yet to discover a way where I can fry it right away.
Once the meat is fried up add the garlic and onion and sauté until the onions soften.
Once done, add about 1 cup of water and let the mixture simmer for about 40 minutes on low heat, with the lid closed.
Then, add the sliced eggplants, potatoes and tomatoes (in that order) and simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes. Don’t worry if this dish is ‘wetter’ than you’d like. It’s supposed to have water, so you can dip your bread in it!
When done, add chopped dill for garnish and additional flavor.