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Beef Stew Recipe | My Halal Kitchen

Slow Cooked Beef Stew- A Classic Comfort Food Recipe

I always crave comfort food in the winter time, but right now as a nation and a global community, it looks as though we could all use a lot of comforting, whether it’s through the gathering together of a community or our small family meals we need to be there for one another and offer support, a lending ear or a shoulder to lean on. To all of those affected by the tragedy at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut and everyone affected around the world by crimes of violence, my prayers, thoughts and sincere condolences are with you…

Beef Stew in Crock Pot

The smell and taste of my mom’s recipe for classic beef stew is one that has been with me since I was a small child. Although she was a working mom, on her shorter days or days off she would often begin making it early in the morning and put it in the crock pot to cook all day long so it would be ready by the time I arrived home from school. I still remember all of the ingredients by heart  and how they looked on the kitchen counter as she prepared it. I also remember being in a bit of awe as to how it would all fit so neatly into her round crock pot with the glass cover that eventually began to steam underneath. Later in the day she made white rice on the side, which indicated that it was almost time to eat since that was the last thing to do before getting ready to serve what to me was the ultimate comfort: knowing exactly what to expect in this meal and feeling cared for, loved and comforted through every bite. 

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Halal To Your Door {and a BBQ Box Giveaway}

It’s one thing to have halal meats available at my local grocer, all nicely packaged and ready for me to take home to cook as needed; it’s a whole other pleasure to have it delivered right to my door- literally.  And that’s exactly what I’ve been experiencing with Taaza2u, a Chicagoland halal meat (and other grocery items) delivery service of Barkaat Foods

Taaza Truck

Taaza2u.com Delivery Truck

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Keema {Delicately Spiced Ground Beef}

The first time I ever had Keema (that wonderful Indian-spiced ground beef dish) was during one of my very first Suhoor (pre-dawn) meals with family friends. I was invited to spend the weekend with them in Chicago during Ramadan. I had no idea whatsoever that people actually ate savory foods for a meal so early in the morning.

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Cheesy Jalapeño Burgers

It’s summer. It’s Ramadan. Do you blame me for craving a burger?  Hopefully not, because maybe you are, too. Chances are there’s plenty of people grilling the summer away as much as possible, since that’s usually the most popular item to throw on. In my case, grilling isn’t so easy so I opt for either oven baking or pan sautéing my burgers. Either way you have them, I think you’re going to love this recipe for a super-quick burger topped with what I think is one of our nation’s best cheese..and it’s halal-certified.

Cheese Jalapeno Burger, Oh My

Cheese from Vermont-based Cabot Creamery has long been on my list of favorite cheeses and in my shopping cart for many years, especially since I noticed that several of their products were halal-certified by IFANCA

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Slow Cooker Haleem

I’ve been told for years that haleem, the puréed meat and grains dish with South Asian flavors,  is a favorite Iftar dish for so many Muslims observing the Ramadan fast.  Though not a common way of eating meat American-style, (cooked down for hours and combined with grains all puréed together) if you pre-judge it and dismiss it, you may never really experience the potentially satisfying eating experience it offers. It’s also quite nourishing.

final haleem bowl

My version of mildy-spiced haleem 

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Moroccan Goat Stew

Have you ever tried goat meat?  If you’ve seen them in real life, they’re not as meaty as those furry and cuddly lambs we all love to pet, though they’re cute and gentle creatures created for traversing rocky terrain around the world. When it comes to cooking goat meat, it can be a lot bonier than lamb, so some people have a difficult time justifiying the need to cook it when lamb is plentiful. I say, as long as it’s halal, I’ll try anything new– although we don’t have it often, goat meat is not new to me but this recipe is…

goat stew over couscous with dates

Moroccan Goat Stew over Couscous with Dates

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Pearl Couscous with Ground Veal, Almonds and Raisins

Pearl couscous is a wonderful salad couscous and quite different from what is normally found in restaurant dishes or alongside North African tagine dishes with meat. When cooked, t is more plump and chewy  than it’s smaller semolina-derived counterpart. The word couscous is actually a Berber one that means well-rounded or rolled which is exactly what I think of what I take a look at it.  It’s also quite popular in Sicilian cuisine, which must be why I love it so much…

Pearl Couscous with Ground Veal, Almonds and Raisins

This dish is light and perfect for a weeknight meal because it’s easy and quick to prepare and uses only two dishes- great for kitchen clean-up, although there is a bit of chopping to do so bring on the family and cook it together. To me, it’s almost like a salad in itself.

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Halal Pepperoni Pizza Bread

I love Fridays and for some reason I’m always craving pizza on Friday evenings. Maybe it’s the comfort food factor or the fact that it just seems so easy to prepare, at least if you’re not doing everything from scratch. So, you’ll be relieved to find this recipe for a semi-homemade pizza bread that you can make quite easily and without a lot of mess. If you have the homemade bread and sauce already done, you’ll be really proud of yourself; if not, no worries- it’s still a great quick meal, alongside a nice salad, of course.

I’m also happy to report that this recipe calls for using a halal, certified-organic pepperoni that does not have nitrates- super hard to find!  I have steered clear of nitrites in my food (mostly found in processed meats like hot dogs, salami and pepperoni) for a very long time because I had read way too many unhealthy facts about them. Now, researchers have recently published information that indicates a link between sausage and cancer, or basically foods with nitrites and their link to cancer. Alhamdullilah (thank God) for companies like Whole Earth Meats who are trying so hard to bring us halal, organic and chemical-free food. The least we can do back is to show our support by purchasing their products and spreading the word about them to others- anyone interested in eating better and knowing more about the origins of their food.

I used halal, organic beef pepperoni by Whole Earth Meats, shredded mozzarella from Trader Joe’s, and Pomi tomato sauce by Parmalat

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Lamb Stew with Pumpkin, Plantain, Sweet Potato and Chickpeas

When we look through recipes online or in magazines, what really prompts us to go out of our way to make a list and head out to the store with the intention of buying all the ingredients specifically for that recipe we enjoyed looking at so much?                                                                                     

I look at food for a living, literally, and am incredibly delighted by the vibrant colors and gorgeous photography that exists in the blogosphere and in the publishing world.  I can’t, however, make everything that awakens my stomach or inspires me to fly off the couch and dig into my cabinets for every spice listed in a recipe so that I, too, can make a gorgeous Thai noodle dish.

There is one Libyan dish, however, that prompted me to set out to use up our Qurbani meat to make this dish called Tbeikhet ‘Eid  which features pumpkin, chickpeas and raisins. I liked the idea of using seasonal produce like pumpkin so much that I decided to give it a try, though digressing a bit by using other ingredients that I had at home that were in much need of being used:

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