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Braised Ground Beef with Apples, Dried Cherries, and Pomegranate

For Jews across the globe, Pesach (or Passover) is an important Jewish holiday. It pays tribute to the story of the Exodus as described in the Hebrew Bible especially in the Book of Exodus, in which the Israelites were freed, under Moses’ leadership, from slavery in Egypt during the time of the Pharoahs.

To celebrate, it’s traditional for Jewish families to gather on the first night of Passover for a special dinner called a Seder. The table is set with the finest china and silverware to reflect the importance of the meal. During this meal, the story of the Exodus from Egypt is retold using a special text called the Haggadah.

During the holiday, we observe numerous dietary restrictions, including eating unleavened bread or matzoh that has been made under strict rabbinical supervision. For my Seder, I really like to lighten both mood and spirit with flavorful, unique ingredients and playful recipes that connect all of us around the globe. This dish is great on it's own, but try using it as a filling for exotic corn tacos topped with radishes and scallions.

Recipe courtesy of Mindy Kobrin of Meals on Heels

Ingredients

  • 2 Pounds ground beef
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled, and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 Teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 Teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 Teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 green apples, peeled-cored and diced into ½-inch cubes
  • 1/2 Cup dried cherries
  • 1 Cup frozen peas
  • 1 Teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 Cup cider vinegar
  • 2 1/2 Cups apple juice
  • butter noodles, cooked
  • Pomegranate seeds, for garnish

Directions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F and center baking rack. Season the beef with salt and pepper.

In a small Dutch oven or cast-iron pot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over high heat.  Add the seasoned beef and cook for 5 minutes or until it's gently pink. Transfer beef to a bowl and set aside.  Lower heat to medium and add remaining olive oil. Add chopped onion, red pepper flakes and cook for 5 minutes. Add the numeg and ginger and cook for 1 minute. Add diced apples, dried cherries, peas, chopped rosemary, lemon juice, and cider vinegar. 

Bring to a boil.  Return beef to this pot and add apple juice plus 1 cup of warm water.  Bring to a gentle simmer.

Cover pot and place into oven to braise for 2 hours.  Serve over buttered egg noodles.  Garnish with pomegranate seeds.