As a fan of fresh okra dishes, I’m always delighted when they are in season again, and immediately start to use them in different dishes. One of my most favorites is the Sephardic dish of braised okra (click HERE for recipe), which I make often. This time, I’ve decided to prepare a version of it, with the addition of beef and fresh herbs.
Braising these simple ingredients together brings out so many flavors and textures: the meat is fork tender, the okra creamy and tasty, and the herbs add their freshness and another layer of flavor and aroma.
The dish is perfect for both lunch or dinner, served with crusty bread on the side, with plain rice, or, as I’ve done here, over couscous with fresh herbs. Try it and enjoy.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Braising time: 1½ hours
1 large bunch mint
1 large bunch parsley
1.1 lbs (500 grams) fresh okra pods
1.1 lbs (500 grams) beef for stew (I used chuck), cut into large cubes
2 Tbs olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground four peppers mix
3.5 oz (100 grams) tomato paste
1 cup beef or chicken stock
1. Preheat the oven to 250F (120C). Chop the herbs roughly (set some aside for serving). Prepare the okra, as shown in THIS link.
2. Heat the oil in a wide pot, over medium-high heat. Add the meat and fry lightly for 1-2 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, chopped herbs, salt and pepper. Mix and sauté for a minute. Add the okra, mix again and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stock, and mix again. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to medium. Cover the pot and simmer for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.
3. Place the covered pot in the oven and braise for 1½ hours, until the meat and okra are tender, and the liquids reduced into a thick sauce. Serve over couscous (or rice), with the remaining chopped fresh herbs on top.