Harissa

Harissa

Meat and barley purée

By
From
The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Serves
6-8
Photographer
Alan Benson

There are versions of harissa in various countries of the region. The Armenians use a special wheat that is unavailable outside the Middle East, so this version uses barley instead. Harissa is traditionally served on the first day after New Year.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
330g pearl barley
1kg chuck steak
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season
90g butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin

Method

  1. Wash the barley well under cold running water. Place in a bowl and add cold water to cover. Leave to soak overnight.
  2. Place the barley and soaking water in a heavy-based saucepan. Place over medium heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, then cover and simmer gently for 1½ hours, or until the barley is just tender.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 170°C.
  4. Cut the steak into 3 cm cubes and place in a separate saucepan with water to cover. Bring slowly to the boil, skimming as required.
  5. Place the barley and steak, together with their simmering liquids, into a large casserole dish. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to the oven and bake for 3 hours, stirring occasionally during cooking, and adding water if the mixture looks like scorching.
  6. In a small frying pan, heat the butter until browned, then stir in the cinnamon and cumin. Remove from the heat.
  7. When the meat is very tender and falling apart, remove the casserole from the oven and beat the mixture with a wooden spoon until puréed. The meat should break up into stringy pieces and combine with the barley.
  8. Spread on a heated serving platter, smoothing the surface. Make indentations over the surface with the back of a spoon and fill with the melted butter mixture.
  9. Serve with bread and salads.
Tags:
The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Tess
Mallos
Middle Eastern
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