A royal feast

Cook up a meal in the spirit of King Herod.

July 10, 2013 14:14
2 minute read.
Modern Jerusalem Mix

Modern Jerusalem Mix. (photo credit: Courtesy)

When you’ve been strolling through the museum halls for half a day and are ready for a break, the Modern kosher meat restaurant at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem offers dishes from a contemporary and creative Jerusalem cuisine that make a clear personal statement.

The restaurant’s design, its location inside the Israel Museum and its view of the Valley of the Cross and the Knesset all make it the perfect dining spot.

Modern’s dishes are based on 100-yearold Jerusalem recipes that evolved outside the Old City walls. Here are two of the restaurant’s dishes, inspired by current exhibitions in the museum.


A recipe by chef Avi Peretz of the Modern Restaurant inspired by the exhibition Herod the Great, the King’s Final Journey.

You will need a heavy iron or copper pan.

✔ 1 kg. beef (shoulder, sirloin), sliced into 6 thick slices 
✔ Olive oil 
✔ 2 onions, thinly sliced 
✔ 2 cm. fresh ginger, chopped
✔ 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 
✔ 1 tsp. lemon zest 
✔ 2 cups dry red wine (try Herod Cabernet Sauvignon) 
✔ 2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped 
✔ ½ celery root, peeled and julienned 
✔ Handful chestnuts, peeled 
✔ 2 cups hot beef stock 
✔ Salt and pepper to taste 
✔ Fresh parsley, chopped 

Heat a little oil in the pan and sear the meat on all sides. Remove and keep covered.

In the same pan, sauté the onions and the garlic about 10 minutes, until onions brown. Add lemon zest and ginger. Pour ½ cup of wine (the chef suggests Tishbi Herod Cabernet Sauvignon), cook until most of the wine evaporates, add another ½ cup and continue cooking until most of it evaporates. Continue the same with the rest of the wine.

Place the sliced vegetables on the onions, and add the meat. Add the chestnuts and pour the hot beef stock. Season with black pepper and salt, cover and cook over very low heat for 2 hours. Before serving, garnish with chopped fresh parsley leaves.

Serves 2 

One of the dishes most associated with Jerusalem is what is locally called Meorav Yerushalmi, literally meaning “Jerusalem mix,” which is a mixture of small sautéed pieces of beef and chicken, served with fresh tomato, onion and herbs, over Jerusalem-style humous (chickpea paste). At Modern, the chef uses virgin olive oil from locally picked olives.

✔ 2 onions, sliced 
✔ 1 clove garlic, sliced 
✔ 300 gr. sirloin, cut into small pieces 
✔ 100 gr. chicken spleen, cut into small pieces 
✔ 100 gr. chicken thighs off the bone, cut into small pieces 
✔ Freshly ground pepper 
✔ Paprika, both sweet and hot 
✔ Pinch cumin 
✔ Homemade tehina 
✔ Fresh thyme, leaves only 
✔ 100 gr. cherry tomatoes, halved 
✔ 1 green pepper, chopped 
✔ Kosher salt 
✔ 1 parsley bunch leaves, chopped 

Heat oil in a large frying pan and sauté the onions. Add the garlic. Add the beef, then the spleen and then the chicken. Season with black pepper, paprika, cumin and add the thyme leaves. Cook until done.

In a deep serving dish, spread a generous amount of freshly made good humous; add a few spoonfuls of tehina. Create a well in the middle and place the warm meats in the well. Add the tomatoes and green pepper, sprinkle a little kosher salt, and garnish with fresh chopped parsley leaves. 

Recipes and photos courtesy of Modern Restaurant, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

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