Misri (Egyptian Meat)

Author: Justin
Serves 8ish

3 lbs stew beef -- tips would probably be ideal, but chuck is okay 2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp ground coriander 1 doz saffron threads, ground in mortar
1/2 tsp thyme 1/4 tsp fennel seed, ground in mortar
2 Tbl chopped garlic 1/4 cup olive oil
3 Tbl Worcestershire Sauce

Combine all in a pot.  Cover, put in a 350 oven.  Cook, stirring occasionally.  The beef will lose its juice, creating a sauce.  Cook until the sauce cooks well down; around two hours.

Notes and Variations

I'm not actually sure how long it takes to reduce the sauce.  This was reconstructed for the potluck at Falling Leaves '02, so the final cooking was done in a crockpot.  The result was good, but it never fully reduced.

This recipe is a loose adaptation.  The original also calls for a few citron leaves (which I don't know where to obtain), and some murri, an Islamic condiment that is rather strange to the Western palate, hard to make, and reportedly may be a little carcinogenic if made authentically.  My very rough substitution is Worcestershire Sauce, the modern Western contribution to the genre of "horribly fermented sauces".  It should also have the fennel flowers with the seed; again, I don't know how to get it.

I think it needs salt, but usually add it at the table.


The Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook of the 13th Century, Charles Perry tr., from the Cariadoc Cookbook Collection, Fifth Edition, Volume II, pg. A-2.