From Jewish Cooking in America, by Joan Nathan.
Yield: 8 servings
Hamad, which means sweet and sour, is often served at Rosh Hashanah. "Iraqi meat dishes are always braised in chopped tomatoes with turmeric," said Shoshanna Sofaer, who prepared this dish at a family gathering in Washington. You can add carrots, turnips, zucchini, and parsnips to it.
1. In a heavy saucepan, mix together the lamb with the tomatoes, salt, pepper, garlic, turmeric, and sugar. Cook on a high flame, stirring, until the meat is brown. Then simmer, covered, on top of the stove for about 2 hours, adding more juice from the tomatoes if necessary.
2. Meanwhile, cook the beets in water to cover for about 20 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel, and dice.
3. Add the beets to the stew and simmer, covered, about 20 minutes more. Just before serving, add the lemon juice and adjust the seasonings. Serve with white rice.
Sarah Wu teaches speech at a grammar school in Chicago, and she always brings her lunch. Well, one day she didn’t. Instead, she went to the school cafeteria for a student lunch, and what followed was a year of blogging that became a book.