James and Isabel Eckrosh of The Dog & Pig Show share holiday traditions with a dash of nostalgia.
James’ Grandma’s Yahneh
My great grandmother, who came to the US from Syria in the early 1900s, passed this dish on from generation to generation. We had this dish at nearly every holiday family meal that my grandmother prepared, probably because it was my grandfather’s favorite. I think it’s a great replacement dish for the good ol' “Green Bean Casserole.” The cinnamon and allspice flavors create a warm holiday connection that everyone can enjoy.
2 Lbs. Lamb – stew meat or loin chops
3 lbs. Fresh Green Beans – ends removed, snapped in half
16 Medium fresh tomatoes
2 28 oz. cans tomatoes
2 Medium red onions, finely diced
2 tbsp. Minced garlic
4 oz. olive oil, divided into 2 oz portions
Salt, Allspice, Cinnamon, Moroccan or Turkish Seasoning
1. Blanch and peel the tomatoes.
2. In a large dutch oven, heat 2 oz. of olive oil at medium heat, then add the diced onion, garlic and 2 tsp. salt. Sautée until lightly browned, stirring regularly.
3. Reduce heat, then add the peeled tomatoes to the pot, crushing with your hand before adding. Add in the canned tomatoes and bring to a simmer.
4. Season lamb well with Moroccan or Turkish seasoning, or just salt and pepper. Heat the remaining olive oil in a cast iron skillet, then add in the lamb. Brown very well on all sides, then add the oil/scrapings into the stock pot with the simmering tomatoes.
5. Add the green beans, 2 tsp. allspice and 2 tsp. cinnamon
6. Bring everything back to a simmer, cover lightly and stir occasionally.
7. Stew down for 1-2 hours until the sauce thickens and the green beans are cooked well.
8. Serve as a side vegetable dish, or over white rice as a main course.