Hamad, Iraqi Braised Lamb with Beets and Tomatoes


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.

  • 3 1/2 to 4 pounds shoulder of lamb, diced in one-inch cubes
  • 1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, drained and diced, juice reserved
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, mashed
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 pounds beets
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Cooked rice

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.


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