It’s summer, at least it’s supposed to be. In Melbourne, we never really know. Our fickle weather sees us reaching for the sunscreen one minute, and the umbrella a few breaths later. Today’s cool breeze felt more October than December, and even warranted a light scarf on my walk to the store.
What better a time, then, to embrace the soups and stews we put on hold during the hotter months? This fasoulia nashfe is one of my favorite family recipes, and one that has traveled with me to four continents: tender lamb, soft cannellini beans and a rich tomato sauce seasoned in the signature Arab way, with plenty of cinnamon, garlic and baharat.
It’s also one of the first Middle Eastern dishes I prepared for the Australian Man. He loved it, which made me love it just that much more.
This recipe uses one of my favorite kitchen appliances: the pressure cooker. It was a staple in our house growing up, and I’ve made it a point to have one in every kitchen I’ve been in since. Pressure cooking allows you to turn tough, lean cuts of meat (like lamb shanks) into melting, fork-tender morsels in a fraction of the time. The options are endless – you can steam fish and vegetables in it, make rich curries, poach fruit, make jams, and make hearty stews like this one.
If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can make fasoulia nashfe as you would any other rich stew: low and slow, with love.