Khoresh’e karafs is the 8th khoresh/Persian style stew I am posting. It is one of the much simpler khoreshs to make. It is favorite of many because of the abundance of herbs and celery which makes this dish very nutritious and light. Although it looks very similar to khoresh’e ghormeh sabzi, their fragrance and tastes are different. The only thing the two khoreshs have in common is the use of the parsley.
Khoresh'e Karafs • خورش کرفس • Celery Stew
Recipe by: Fae’s Twist & Tango (fae-magazine.com)
For the stewed meat
• 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
• 1 small onion, chopped
• 600 g/ 1.3 lbs beef stew meat, beef shank, beef chuck cross rib (or lamb meat)
. . cut in 5cm/2″ x 2.5cm/1″ pieces
• 1 bay-leaf
• 1½ cups water
To prepare the vegetable
• 2 ~ 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
• 560 g/ 12 ribs/ 7 cups celery, cut in 2.5cm/1″ slices (organic celery is recommended)
• 195 g/ 2 large bunches/ 6 cups parsley, stripped and finely chopped
• 30 g/ 1 bunch/ 1 cup fresh mint leaves chopped -or- 4 Tbsp dried flakes (no more)
. . – or –
♦ 1 package Kadbanou frozen Fried Parsley & Mint (نعنا جعفری سرخ کرده )
To assemble the stew
• 1~ 1½ tsp salt
• ½ tsp ground turmeric
• ¼ tsp ground black pepper
• 6 ~ 8 Tbsp verjuice
• 2½ cups hot water
For the stewed meat
◊ Add 1 Tbsp oil to a medium-sized saucepan and place it on high-heat. As soon as oil is hot, add cut onion and stirring constantly, sauté for 2 minutes. Add meat pieces and sear all sides. Add water, bay-leaf, put the lid on and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer for 1 hour. There should be ½ cup of liquid left. If needed, add a little water at a time not to scorch.
Meanwhile, prepare the vegetable
◊ In a medium non-stick pot, add 2 ~ 3 Tbsp oil and heat oil on medium-high heat. Add cut celery and sauté until celery pieces start browning (7+ minutes). Add the chopped parsley, mint, salt, and continue to sauté by continuously stirring until liquid has evaporated and the herbs have been fried.
◊ To the pot, add meat that has been cooking for 1 hour. Add turmeric, pepper, verjuice, hot water, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 40 ~ 60 minutes or until the meat is cooked and tender soft (add hot water if needed). There should be no more than 1 ~ 1½ cup liquid left when it is done.
◊ Serve in deep dish. Khoresh is almost always served with Persian rice/ polo.
◊ OPTION: For vegetarian/vegan, skip the meat and add vegan bullion.
~ Noushe jan • نوش جان ~
A few important points in making an outstanding Persian khoresh:
♦ Don’t skimp on oil… use as much as needed for frying/sautéing. Boiling oil also cooks and adds flavor. It can be skimmed off before serving.
♦ Brown/sear onion and meat very well.
♦ Adding 1/16 ~ 1/8 tsp of ground saffron, dissolved in 1 Tbsp hot water, will substantially add to taste.
♦ Don’t use too much water for cooking, just enough to steam and condense. –Simmer on low heat for a long time. This helps flavor fusion of ingredients.
♦ Best if stew is made a day in advance and refrigerated for taste to meld.
♦ Almost all stews can be frozen. Exception: If stew includes potato(es), potato pieces to be removed before freezing.
♦ There are red  stews (using tomato paste) and green  stews (using herbs). Garnishing red stews sparingly with caramelized onion before serving not only further enhances taste but visually enhances the dish.
 Slang: ‘red’ and ‘green’ are used to specify types of stews or mixed rices, using tomato paste vs. herbs respectively. This concept also helps host/hostess plan an event menu and serve a balance of reds and greens.
So, what’s cooking in your kitchen?