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Dfina

Dfina is a Sephardic version of the slow-cooked stew. It is prepared all over the Middle East as well as in Turkey and Spain. This version is from Egypt, distinguished by the hard-cooked eggs with their delicious, creamy yolks. The dried white beans are such a standard ingredient in these Sabbath stews that the Spanish name for them is judias, meaning "Jews." Greek Jews call the beans fijones, and their version of this stew is fijonicas. can be slow-cooked for Sabbath

ingredients

serves 8
8 ounces chick peas (garbanzo beans)
8 ounces navy beans
2 tablespoons oil
2 large onions, finely chopped
2 pounds boneless beef (flank steak or brisket), cut into chunks or pieces, fat trimmed
6 small potatoes, peeled
6 eggs in their shells
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin seed
1 teaspoon ground allspice
salt and black pepper

method

1. Soak the beans and chick peas overnight in water to cover. Drain and discard soaking water.

2. Heat the oil in a skillet and saute the chopped onions until golden brown, about 5 minutes.

3. Put the meat, potatoes, onions, and whole eggs in their shells into a large ovenproof pot or casserole with a tight-fitting lid. Add beans and chick peas to the pot. Then add the garlic and spices, but not the salt and pepper.

4. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Add enough water to the pot to barely cover the ingredients. If the lid of the pot does not fit tightly, put a layer of foil between the pot and lid.

5. Bake the stew for 1 hour, then add the salt and pepper, and reduce the heat to the lowest setting in the oven, about 250°F. Cook for at least 5 hours or overnight. Serve at lunch next day, with Sephardic Sabbath Rice.

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