This is one recipe I get asked about every time I post to my Instagram.
It’s a popular Lebanese stew (also known as ‘yakhni’ یخنی) which is made with beef and spinach, with a coriander and garlic base.
I really really love this dish! It’s one of my childhood favourites that my mother made often and probably one of the first real Lebanese dishes I ever started cooking for my own family.
I know this dish can be made differently. There are a few different recipes out there. I’ve seen many who use a ground, minced beef but I much prefer to use cubed beef, which is how my mother made it. I buy a cheaper cut and use my pressure cooker to cook the meat in the stock prior to adding the spinach. I have found this not only reduces cooking time, but also leaves meat soft and tender, just the way I like it in a stew. I use baby spinach leaves and leave them whole in my version. You can use regular spinach, of course, by removing stems and cutting down leaves. You’ll also find my version is ‘soup-ier’ but the addition of rice when serving helps to soak up liquid and makes it all that more yummy!
So here is my version.
- 500g beef chuck, cubed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 litres vegetable stock
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 bunches of corianders, leaves removed and finely chopped (roots washed & retained)
- 240g spinach leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes (optional)
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 black pepper
- 1/2 baharat
- In a large pot, heat one tablespoon of oil, add beef pieces and brown. Add the coriander roots and the stock. Bring to the boil and then reduce heat. Leave stock to simmer for 40 minutes. (I like to use a pressure cooker here. I cook the the stock and meat for 20 minutes which leaves meat soft and tender).
- In a small saucepan, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil, add chopped coriander, garlic and onion. Saute for a few minutes until onion starts to soften and mixture becomes fragrant.
- Once stock is ready, remove the coriander root and add the coriander/garlic mixture, spinach leaves, salt, pepper, chilli (if adding) and baharat. Simmer for about 5 minutes until spinach is wilted.
- Serve stew on a bed of cooked rice with plenty of freshly squeezed lemon over the top.
Freshly squeezed lemons right before serving is a must! The dish just isn't the same without it!