Hamin

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hamin

Hamin is a traditional peasant dish. Basically, instead of throwing out the leftovers from the past week, the Jewish balaboostas of the world threw all the meat, bones, and vegetables from that week’s meals into a pot and let them simmer overnight. There are different ways to prepare hamin—European Ashkenazi Jews add kishke (intestines), while the Sephardic Jews of Moroccan, Yemenite, Iraqi, and Iranian descent add spices, beans, barley, and wheat. There’s plenty of room here for variety; try adding quince or dates instead of prunes.

You’ll need cheesecloth and kitchen string.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 6-8Servings

Ingredients

Basic Hamin

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked in cold water overnight
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup dried pinto beans, soaked in cold water overnight
  • 1 1/2 cups barley
  • 1 pound stewing beef
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 10 prunes
  • 6 dried apricots
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 large garlic cloves

Sauce

  • 7 cups water
  • 5 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

1. Cut three 9-inch squares of cheesecloth. You will use these to make little sachets of chickpeas, pinto beans, and barley. 

2. Place the chickpeas, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper in the center of one cheesecloth square. Gather up all four corners to make a loose sachet and tie it up with kitchen string. Repeat this process with the pinto beans, 1/2 teaspoon of the remaining salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of the remaining pepper in another cheesecloth square. Repeat with the barley, 1/2 teaspoon of the remaining salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of the remaining pepper. Set these sachets aside.

3. Season the beef with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Place a single layer of meat at the bottom of a 6-quart Dutch oven or other large, heavy pot. Then scatter in half of the potato chunks, half of the prunes and apricots, and all three cheesecloth sachets. If there is any meat left over, add it to the top with the remaining prunes and apricots.

Nestle the uncracked eggs into the top layer of all the goodies along with the bay leaves and garlic.

4. Whisk all the sauce ingredients together and pour the sauce over the hamin goodies. Place the Dutch oven on the stove over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.

4.Preheat the oven to 200°F.

5.When the hamin and sauce come to a boil, remove from the heat. Place a lid on the Dutch oven and bake overnight for at least 8 and up to 12 hours.

6.The hamin is ready when you wake up the next morning with the aromatic scent of beef in your house.

CREDIT: "Excerpted from Balaboosta by Einat Admony (Artisan Books).Copyright © 2013. Photographs by Quentin Bacon."

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