Cooking Class: Winter stew

Fill the house with the hearty aroma of a slow-cooking pot of meat.

Lamb ossobuco (photo credit: Yasmin and Arie)
Lamb ossobuco
(photo credit: Yasmin and Arie)
Cooking for a large party, it is a good idea to look for a slow cooking recipe, preferably a meal in a pot, which allows the host enough time to tend to other chores.
Food chain Bitan Wines has declared a meat carnival between January 1 and 19, lowering prices and offering premium cuts not previously sold in supermarkets. In addition, the cookbook Meat Recipes for the Whole Family (in Hebrew) will be given to customers who spend NIS 150 or more on meat. The book, written by chef Sahar Raphael, offers many regional recipes of hearty meat dishes for large family dinners.
So take advantage of reduced prices to try a new recipe for a large party or cook a large amount and freeze half for next time.
Here are three recipes from the book, courtesy of chef Raphael and Bitan Wines.
✔ 7 cooking potatoes, peeled and cooked in salty water until tender ✔ 750 gr. ground beef ✔ 3 onions, chopped ✔ Salt and pepper ✔ 2 eggs, beaten ✔ 2 Tbsp. vinegar ✔ Pinch nutmeg ✔ 1⁄2 cup oil ✔ 2 Tbsp. pine nuts ✔ 1⁄2 package parsley, leaves only, chopped
Mash the potatoes while hot, add 3 Tbsp. oil, salt pepper and eggs. Mix well and set aside.
To prepare meat: In a deep skillet, heat oil and fry the onions until golden. Add meat and mix until all meat is crumbled and color is changed. Season with salt and pepper, add a pinch of nutmeg and parsley and let cool. When cooled, add the pine nuts.
Grease a glass baking dish.
Spread half of the mashed potatoes at the bottom in an even layer. Pour the meat on top of the mashed potatoes in an even layer and top with the rest of the mashed potatoes so it covers all the meat. Using a fork, create lines across the mashed potatoes.
Drizzle a little oil on top and bake in a 180º oven for 45 minutes.
✔ 11⁄2 kg. veal tail, sliced, without fat ✔ 1 kg. red onions, peeled and sliced ✔ 250 gr. roasted chestnuts, peeled ✔ 1⁄4 cup canola oil ✔ 2 Tbsp. date honey ✔ Salt and pepper ✔ 1 cup red wine ✔ 3 sprigs rosemary ✔ 1 cup flour ✔ 2 Tbsp. tomato paste ✔ 1 liter beef stock or water
Heat the oil in a deep pan.
Coat the meat with flour and sauté on medium heat until golden. Remove meat from the pan. Add the onion and sauté until browned. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring over low heat. Add the wine, bring to a boil and return the meat.
Add the date honey, stock (or water) until meat is covered and arrange the chestnuts around the meat. Season with salt and pepper, add the rosemary, bring to a boil, lower heat and cover. Lower heat to minimum and cook for 3 hours. After three hours, check the liquids. If it is reduced and thickened, taste and season if necessary. If not thickened enough, bring the heat up uncovered and let some of the liquid evaporate.
Serve in deep soup bowls, garnished with onions and chestnuts.
✔ 6 pieces of lamb shanks ✔ 3 onions, peeled and sliced ✔ 3 carrots, peeled and sliced ✔ 4 celery stalks ✔ 1⁄2 cup canola oil ✔ 3 sprigs rosemary ✔ 3 Tbsp. tomato paste ✔ 2 cups red wine ✔ Salt and pepper ✔ 2 Tbsp. honey ✔ 2 Tbsp. paprika ✔ 2 carrots, peeled and cut coarsely ✔ 2 kohlrabi, peeled and sliced ✔ 2 parsley roots, peeled and cut lengthwise ✔ 7 garlic cloves, peeled ✔ 3 potatoes, peeled and cut into large cubes
Heat oil in a pan and sear the meat on all sides until browned. Remove the meat from the pan and add the onions, carrots and celery.
Continue sautéing until browned and add the tomato paste, paprika, honey and wine. Mix well and add 2 cups of hot water. Bring to a boil.
Return the meat and arrange as flat as you can in the pan. Add enough water to cover the meat and vegetables. Season with salt and pepper, cover and cook for two hours. After two hours, taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Add the cut vegetables and garlic and cook at least 1 more hour.
Serve with the vegetables.
The recipes and photos are courtesy of Bitan Wines and chef Sahar Raphael. For a list of Bitan shops, go to