Thursday, September 15, 2011

Green Peas with Ground Beef (Kiymali Bezelye)

Here's one other example of a vegetable stew from Turkish cuisine everyone regularly eats and loves growing up.
You do not have to add potatoes and carrots, some people use green peas alone; but let me tell you, besides adding color to the dish, potato and carrot also add so much flavor, it really does make a difference in the end result; plus they also cut a little bit through the sweetness of American green peas.
Ingredients: (Serves 6-8)
  • 8 oz. ground beef (preferably 80/20)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 heaping tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 lbs. green peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 cup potatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups hot water (plus more, if necessary)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried dill weed (optional)

  • Heat vegetable oil in the pot. Add diced onion and ground beef. Breaking up the ground beef and mixing it with onion, saute over medium-high heat until onion is translucent and ground beef is no longer pink.
  • Add the tomato paste and 1 cup hot water; mix lightly to dissolve the paste in water.
  • Add the veggies, pepper, salt and dill weed. Add the rest of the hot water and stir to combine.
  • Bring to a boil; then lower the heat and simmer until the veggies are cooked (soft to the bite, but not falling apart). Add more water along the way, if necessary, to prevent the stew from drying, and depending on how thick vs. soupy you like your stew.
Additional points:
  • This dish is actually easier to cook in a pressure cooker. It obviously cooks the food with less amount of water, in a shorter amount of time. When using pressure cookers, the amount of water you should add and the cooking time vary from model to model. I use a very simple, primitive model which still works for me after almost 15 years. Mine cooks this dish with 2 1/2 cups water, in about 35 minutes. A newer, more modern version would probably take much less time.
  • The salt amount above is obviously a suggestion. Please adjust it depending on your taste and health issues. 

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