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Lebanese Cauliflower Stew (Yakhnet Arnabeet)

Lebanese Cauliflower Stew (Yakhnet Arnabeet)

Hands down, my number one-go to stew recipe of all times! Lebanese Cauliflower Stew, super comforting, and I am not sure if the rest of the world understands the love, we Lebanese have for stews. We take them quite seriously and are the most frequent dinners in most Lebanese households, they are hearty, delicious and family friendly. Growing up, Lebanese cauliflower stew was at least a monthly staple in our family. If you like cauliflower, then you will adore this version!


600 g/ 1 lb 5 oz.  lamb shanks/ oxtail/ lamb neck
2 large heads cauliflowers, about 2 kgs both, break into large florets, keep the stems on and discard the leaves if they are still on
1 large garlic head, crushed
1 bunch coriander, stems removed, washed, drained and chopped, about 1 cup chopped
9 cups water
¼ cup sunflower oil, to sauté the coriander and garlic
4 cups sunflower oil, to fry the cauliflower florets
Salt to taste
1 large lemon, juiced

For the meat stock:
1 onion
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
2 cardamom pods


1. Wash the meat and drain, set in a large pot, add 9 cups of water and place on high heat.

2. Spoon the scum as it appears, once it reaches a boiling point, add the onion, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick and bay leaves. Cover the pot, reduce heat to low and let it simmer for two hours, or until the meat is fully cooked.  Strain the broth and place the meat on a dish to cool down. Shred the meat.

3. Working in batches, in a frying pan, heat the oil to an adequate frying temperature cook the cauliflower florets on each side to a light golden color.  Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

4. Transfer the meat broth and the shredded meat to a large pot, and bring to a boil.

5. Meanwhile, combine the crushed garlic and coriander/ cilantro in a skillet, add the sunflower oil and sauté for a couple of seconds until the cilantro leaves wilt a bit and the mixture bring out a nice aroma, making sure not to burn the mixture. Add the garlic cilantro mix to the meat pot, reduce heat to low, cover up and allow the flavors to mellow together for about 10 minutes.

6. Transfer the cauliflower florets to the meat pot, adjust salt to your taste preference, return to a simmer for about 20 minutes, not more. Avoid shaking or stirring the pot to avoid breaking the cauliflower florets. Add lemon juice, simmer for 2 more minutes.

7. Serve with rice and vermicelli or even with plain rice. Happy eating!

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