Papaz yahnisi is one of the most well-known dishes of my home town, Kırklareli. It literally means pastor’s stew. There are many rumors about where this name comes from. One of them is that it was a meal made by pastors and monks who lived in the area using fish and wine and later on it changed into meat and vinegar over time. Another one is that a Muslim cooked this this to his sick neighbour who was a pastor and he liked it so much that he asked him to cook it again and again.
Whatever the story, the result is really delicious. It can be summed up as a meat dish with plenty of onions and pleasant spices. Although many recipes are given in tomato paste, there is no tomato paste in papaz yahnisi. It takes its flavor and color from the caramelized onions and spices.
The most important advice I will give about the recipe is that the beef and shallots should be in equal sizes. The cooking times will be approximately same. When the meat is larger than the onions, the onions can be overcooked and dispersed.
Enjoy the recipe…
- 1 kg of large diced beef,
- 500 g shallots,
- 2 cloves of garlic,
- 1 tablespoon butter,
- 4 cups of boiling water,
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper,
- 1/2 teaspoon of cumin,
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice,
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon,
- 1 tablespoon of vinegar,
- Heat the pressure cooker, add into the meat and cook, stirring constantly, until first they loose all their water and then the water evaporates,
- Add the butter and stir until melted,
- Add the peeled onions and garlic and stir for a few minutes,
- Add the water, cover the lid and cook until the beef softens,
- Open the lid, add salt, pepper, cumin, allspice, cinnamon and vinegar, mix and cook for a few more minutes and remove from heat.