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Lebanese Beef and Green Beans

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Lebanese Beef and Green Beans is slow simmered beef {or lamb} and green beans in a tomato sauce with cinnamon and a touch of cumin.  Lay this dish over a bed of rice with a dollop of plain yogurt, fresh parsley and plenty of pita bread to soak up the juices. 

Lebanese Beef and Green Beans

Lebanese Beef and Green Beans

One of the classic Lebanese meals I remember throughout my childhood is my Grandma’s Lebanese Beef and Green Beans.

The smell of simmering tomatoes with cinnamon would fill the house when I walked in the door. Lebanese food has always been one of my favorite comfort foods throughout life.  If I am having a bad day, feeling sad about something, or miss my family {back in the college days} I would turn to things like hummus and pita, tabbouleh, fatayer, stuffed grape leaves and Lebanese Beef and Green Beans. There are worse comfort foods, right?  Even in my adult years if there is a day that I don’t feel like cooking a meal for my family we head to our favorite local Middle Eastern restaurant for Lebanese food.


Lebanese Beef and Green Beans - yum

I attribute my love for Lebanese food not only to my Grandma’s amazing cooking but to my Grandpa.  He had traveled to Lebanon back in the 80’s and got a chance to meet some of our relatives there {his parents and my Grandma’s parents came to America through Ellis Island}. I remember him playing Arabic music a lot when I would visit and always had a stash of Jordan Almonds in a jar waiting for the grandkids.  As a child I would go to a Middle Eastern shop in the valley near Akron and pick up fresh pita bread with my Grandpa.  Some trips we would buy just fresh pita bread {the best around} and other times we would buy things like tahini, rose water for baklava, bulgar wheat and chickpeas.  My Grandpa has since passed away but every time I drive by that Middle Eastern shop I think of him and how he helped shape my love for my family history and the food.

While I was home at my parents over Thanksgiving my Mom showed me a Lebanese cookbook that was her Grandma’s when she lived in Lebanon.  It was like holding a piece of the homeland in my hands and I could see the years of love and cooking that the cookbook has passed through.

Lebanese Green Beans - cookbook

I have high hopes of one day making it back to Lebanon to see where my ancestors come from, eat the food and see how beautiful it is in person, but until then I have these beautiful memories, pieces of family history and of course the food to connect me.

Last year I shared these Lebanese Green Beans which is the base of today’s Lebanese Beef and Green beans but has the addition of meat, in today’s case beef stew meat. Another great alternative to the beef is lamb, which is also a very traditional way to eat it. The green beans and beef are simmered in a tomato sauce with cinnamon and a touch of cumin {the cumin is less traditional but I like to add it in-feel free to leave it out}.  When I make this dish I serve it over rice with orzo {hoping to share this simple recipe soon}, brown rice, couscous or even quinoa. I also like to top my Lebanese Beef and Green Beans with a big dollop of plain yogurt and freshly chopped parsley. Oh, and make sure you give lots of fresh pita bread for dipping in the delicious tomato sauce.

Lebanese Beef and Green Beans - the best dinner!

As we enter 2016 my goal for A Cedar Spoon is to share more Lebanese/Mediterranean inspired recipes with you all.  I have always had a deep love for the food and hope to continue to share it with all of you. Today’s Lebanese Beef and Green Beans is one of those cherished family recipes that we have been making for years and is the perfect kind of winter comfort food.

Instant Pot Lebanese Green Beans side view

Lebanese Beef and Green Beans

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Lebanese Beef and Green Beans is slow simmered beef {or lamb} and green beans in a tomato sauce with cinnamon and a touch of cumin. Lay this dish over a bed of rice with a dollop of plain yogurt, fresh parsley and plenty of pita bread to soak up the juices.

Ingredients

  • 5 Tablespoons olive oil, separated
  • 1 to 1.5 lb. beef stew meat, cubed
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 - 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 - 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons salt, seperated
  • 1 teaspoon pepper, separated
  • 1 lb. frozen green beans
  • Fresh parsley and yogurt for garnish {optional}
  • Rice, couscous or quinoa to serve over

Instructions

  1. In a large pot heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat. Add half of the stew meat, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and brown the meat, turning each piece of meat as easy side browns. Remove each piece of meat as it browns and set aside in a bowl. Add the remaining meat, 2 Tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and continue to brown until all of the meat is done. Add to the other meat and set aside.
  2. In the same pot add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and the onion and sauté over medium heat. Once the onion begins to soften add the garlic, cinnamon and cumin and continue to sauté for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, stew meat and stir until combined. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the green beans, stirring to combine, cover and simmer for an additional 25-30 minutes or until the beef is tender and the green beans are cooked through. Taste and adjust spice and salt and pepper.
  4. Serve the Lebanese Beef and Green Beans over rice, couscous or quinoa with a dollop of yogurt, fresh parsley and pita bread.

Notes

This dish is also great made with lamb or ground beef.

You can store this in your refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days.

Lebanese Beef and Green Beans are great as leftovers. I think the flavors really meld together the day after.

If you are looking for a traditional dish leave out the cumin. If you want to make it a bit spicier try adding a touch of cayenne pepper.

I use frozen green beans for this dish but you could easily use fresh. If you use fresh you might want to wait and add them in to the dish with 15 minutes remaining instead of 30 minutes.

I leave my green beans whole but feel free to cut them in half of even smaller, especially if kids are eating the dish.

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Want more Mediterranean recipes?

Mediterranean Steak Pita Wraps with Mint Yogurt Sauce

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Fattoush

Lebanese Vegetables

Tabbouleh

Classic Hummus 

Lebanese Beef and Green Beans - my favorite comfort food!

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Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction

Monday 7th of December 2015

I love family inspired recipes! This looks like some incredible comfort food!

Julia

Monday 7th of December 2015

Thanks Jessica! It is definitely comfort food.

Gwen @SimplyHealthyFamily

Monday 7th of December 2015

Why oh why don't I cook like this more often!! This sounds absolutely perfect for this time of year and would you believe I have all of these ingredients all ready on hand? Yay!

Julia

Monday 7th of December 2015

It is definitely an easy dish to put together and most people do have the ingredients in their pantry and fridge already!

Denise Wright

Monday 7th of December 2015

Oh you had me at Lebanese! My father was Lebanese and we grew up with the same foods. My mother was Irish and German but she learned how to make all his favorite foods. Many of my Lebanese relatives are gone now and oh how I miss there home cooked meals. Delicious food! I loved reading about your family and this dish looks delicious! (We used to call it Lubi (not sure of the spelling.))

Julia

Monday 7th of December 2015

We called is Lubi too {it is spelled a lot of ways!}. My Dad is actually German and my Mom is Lebanese! Luckily my Mom did all of the cooking so she made us a ton of Lebanese recipes growing up. Home cooked meals like this are the best, aren't they?

Adriana

Sunday 6th of December 2015

What a beautiful recipe celebrating traditions and the flavors of your culture and ancestors, this is a must try =)

Julia

Monday 7th of December 2015

Thanks Adriana! My family loves it.

Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

Sunday 6th of December 2015

This sounds wonderful and so warming with all that cinnamon!

Julia

Monday 7th of December 2015

Thanks! The cinnamon is so rich and warming. The best part of the dish!

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