Aunty Rachel’s Beef-stuffed Artichokes | The Jewish Week | Food & Wine

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Aunty Rachel’s Beef-stuffed Artichokes

Aunty Rachel’s Beef-stuffed Artichokes

Credit: Clare Winfield

Serves 4

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My Aunty Rachel kindly spent one of her precious vacation days when she came over on a visit from Israel cooking with me in my kitchen, and from that I inherited two wonderful dishes, this one and the Hot Red Bell Pepper Fish Stew. Stuffed artichokes are very popular in Morocco where Rachel’s family came from, and there is such a lovely contrast of flavors here
in the warm-spiced ground beef and the slightly sharp taste of the artichokes. Most Middle Eastern or Turkish supermarkets stock artichoke bottoms in a jar, but if you can’t get those, feel free to use frozen ones, which are widely available, or of course fresh ones when they are in season. Serve with Israeli “Chik Chak” Salad.

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juice of ½ lemon (if using fresh artichokes)

8 artichoke bottoms from a jar,
or use frozen if you prefer or fresh
when available

2 large eggs

1¼ cups all-purpose flour, seasoned with sea salt and freshly ground pepper

¼ cup olive oil

For the stuffing

1 small onion, finely diced

9oz ground beef 

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons baharat 

2 teaspoons sweet paprika

½ teaspoon sea salt 

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 large handfuls of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

For the sauce

1 tablespoon mushroom or chicken stock powder

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cups hot water


Mix all the ingredients for the stuffing together in a bowl, reserving 1 tablespoon of the parsley for garnish. If using fresh artichoke bottoms, rub them with the lemon juice. Stuff each artichoke with 2 tablespoons of the filling, pressing it down well to make it nice and compact. 

Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl, and spread the seasoned flour out on a plate. Carefully roll the stuffed artichokes in the beaten egg, then coat in the seasoned flour, dusting off any excess. 

Heat the olive oil in a wide, heavy skillet large enough to hold the artichokes in a single layer. When it is hot but not smoking, add the artichokes (in batches if necessary), meat-side down, and fry over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes until the meat is nicely browned on top. Turn them over and fry for a further 3 minutes. 

To make the sauce, mix the stock powder and black pepper into the measured hot water until well combined. Put all the artichokes back into the pan, if necessary, and pour in the stock. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes, basting the top of the artichokes every so often, until the sauce has reduced slightly and the artichokes are tender.

Serve the stuffed artichokes immediately, drizzled with some of the sauce and garnished with the reserved parsley. 

Tip: The ground beef stuffing can be used for so many other dishes: meatballs, burgers, as a variation on a cottage pie, or formed into koftas. I’ve given quantities to make enough stuffing to fill the number of artichoke bottoms specified, but feel free to double the amounts and use it for another dish, as suggested.