Though abgoosht bozbash and ghormeh sabzi (the most popular Persian khoresht) both share the same major ingredients, they completely differ in taste and cooking method. In abgoosht, all the ingredients are added to the pot without pre-cooking them first, whereas in khoresht the meat and herbs are sautéed then braised in an aromatic fried-onion base. Abgoosht has considerably more liquid and, just as with ghormeh sabzi, can be prepared with red kidney beans or black-eyed peas.
Abgoosht Bozbash (Herbs Abgoosht)
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 2 hour 30 min
Ready in: 3 hour
Yields: 6 servings
2½ pounds beef shanks
1 large onion peeled
2½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
8 cups water
1 bunch fresh green onions
1 small bunch fresh parsley
1 small bunch fresh cilantro
1 small bunch fresh or 1/3 cup dried fenugreek
6 large dried Persian limes or ¼ cup lemon juice
2 large potatoes peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 can (15.5 oz.) red kidney beans drained
Place meat, water, onion, salt, pepper and turmeric in a large pot. Bring to a boil, skimming off any froth that rises to the surface. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 1 hour.
While meat is cooking, clean and chop the herbs. Add the fresh chopped herbs and limes to the pot, discard the whole onion. Pierce the limes a few times with a fork prior to adding them to allow the cooking liquid to permeate the fruit, hydrating it and releasing its complex flavors. Cook for 1 hour or until the meat is fork tender. Add potatoes and beans, cook for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Taste and adjust the seasoning before serving.
Optional – To serve this dish as a broth and koobideh (mashed meat with beans), transfer the content of the pot to a mesh strainer, placed over a bowl, to strain. Return to the pot leaving the broth in the bowl. Remove all the bones and limes, the seeds are bitter if eaten. Mash to a coarse consistency using a potato masher or a meat pounder.