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ITALIAN HAMIN

ITALIAN HAMIN

This Hamin requires a few more steps than your average cholent, so be prepared not just to soak the beans overnight but also to make meatballs and wilted spinach to serve as part of the Stew. The directions below are if you plan on serving this dish for Shabbat lunch, and I have given directions based on the stringencies of Jewish law as I understand them. Please make this dish, any day of the week and serve it your way.

For the Stew:

  • 2 cups dried white beans
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 fresh sage leaves
  • ½ kilo marrow bones
  • 1 kilo beef chuck cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • About 2 quarts water

For Chicken meatballs:

  • 500 g ground chicken or turkey
  • ½ cup matza meal
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For Spinach:

  • 1 kilo fresh spinach leaves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

For the Hamin:

Start the night before by soaking the beans in twice if not more their volume of fresh cold water.

In a large frying pan, heat the oil over a medium flame. Add the onions and the sage and saute until the onions are golden and soft and the sage is fragrant, about 10 minutes.

Place the fried onions and sage in the crock of a crock pot, add the bones, followed by the beef, garlic and seasoning, top with enough water to cover the ingredients in the crock pot. Turn the crock pot on to full heat for about an hour and a half, lower heat and cook in the crockpot overnight.

While the hamin cook prepare the meatballs and spinach

For the meatballs:

In a large bowl combine the ground chicken or turkey add the matzah meal, egg and season, using your hands mix the combination well. With damp hands roll the meat mixture into 1 inch balls, set aside while you roll out the rest of the meatballs.

Heat the oil in a large saute pan with high sides, over a medium heat, add the meatballs to the pan and fry on the first side for about 5 minutes turn over and fry on the second side for a further 5 minutes, cut one meatball in half to ensure it has cooked through. You may have to do this in two batches, since you want to avoid crowding the pot.

Set them aside and store in the fridge until shabbat morning.

For the Spinach:

Cut and tough stems off the spinach and discarde, cut the spinach into 1 inch strips, and set aside.

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat, add the onion and saute until very soft and golden, add the garlic and saute until fragrant about 30 seconds, add the spinach and continue stirring the ingredients together until the spinach has wilted and has cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Store the spinach in the fridge until shabbat morning.

To Serve:

Depending on how long your hot plate or blech takes to heat your food, place the meatballs and spinach to heat through on your hot plate (they don’t need to be piping hot, just warmer than room temperature).

When ready to serve take the Crock pot out of the element, and stir the meatballs and spinach into the Hamin. Serve