In researching his book on Sephardic cooking, Copeland Marks traveled through the Eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East, Central Asia, India, the Red Sea and North Africa. Often he stayed in the home of local Jewish families. The following recipe is a Passover favorite of the Persian family who was Marks' host during his stay there. This stew is served over rice as rice is traditionally permitted for Sephardic Jews during Passover. Karen Selwyn * * * * * * * Veal and Mushroom Stew (Khoresht Garch) 3 tablespoons oil 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric 2 medium onions, chopped 2 lbs. boneless veal, cut into 1 1/2" cubes 1 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon pepper 1 large bunch flat-leafed Italian parsley, chopped 2 large leeks, white and green part, chopped 3 cups chopped celery, both leaves and ribs 1 1/2 cups water 2 lbs. mushrooms (see note) Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the turmeric and onions. Saute over moderate heat for 2 minutes. Raise heat to high. Add the veal cubes, salt, and pepper. Stir-fry veal for 5 minutes, turning cubes to ensure even browning. Lower the heat to medium. Add the parsley, leeks and celery to the pan. Continue cooking for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the water to the pan. Raise the heat to bring the water to a boil. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes, or until veal is tender. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking for 15 more minutes. Serve with rice. Note: Traditional Persians would pick wild mushrooms for use in this stew. If wild mushrooms are available, Marks recommends they be used. I would recommend crimini mushrooms which are simply immature portobello mushrooms. These smaller-size mushrooms left whole or halved will make a prettier presentation than portobello slices.
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