The Jew And The Carrot

Passover Recipe: How To Cook Like a Turk

By Hana Itzhaki

  • Print
  • Share Share

There’s a good reason we only eat Kalli’ah once a year. The Turkish inspired beef, eggs and potato dish is not for the faint of heart. Seriously, if you have high cholesterol, just stop reading now. But if you enjoy the succulent rich taste of confit, this is the perfect Passover dish for you.

This recipe was handed down to me by my husband’s family. Israelis since long before Israel was a democratic nation, his ancestors originally emigrated from Turkey but identify their cultural heritage as Nashdidanim — a Jewish group from the secluded mountainous boarders of Turkey, Iran, and Azerbaijan that dates back to the Babylonian exile. Many of their food customs resemble those of the Turks and Kurds with dishes that include stuffed grape leaves known as dolma and meat filled kubbe dumplings poached in soup or served fried. Kalli’ah is one of the community’s signature Passover dishes.

The word Kall’iah refers to the method of cooking the meat in Aramaic — it is fried in rendered fat or oil, also known as confit. The technique preserves meat, making it an excellent option for a long holiday like Passover. According to the website of the Nashdidan community, “Kalli’ah should be eaten with wet matza, alleviating the need for utensils,” another plus when faced with limited kosher for Passover dishes.

The ingredient amounts for the recipe are enough to sever upwards of 30-40 people but the dish is meant to be divided up into multiple meals over the course of a week. It is alos easily divided or frozen. The leftover beef is excellent when added to stews or omelets. Store the beef in an airtight nonreactive container, preferably a glass jar, in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Safta Naomi’s Beef Kalli’ah

10-12 pounds beef shoulder, cubed
½ pound reserved beef fat, cut into cubes
1 teaspoon salt 11 hard boiled eggs
3 pounds potatoes
1 bunch mint
salt and pepper to taste

1) Place the beef fat cubes in a large heavy stock-pot or a Dutch oven and cook on low-medium heat for 20-25 minutes until most of the fat has rendered into a liquid. Scoop out the remaining crispy brown bits with a slotted spoon, discard.

2) Add the beef cubes and teaspoon of salt to the rendered fat and cook on medium heat for 1 ½ to 2 hours, covered, stirring occasionally until beef is tender enough to be easily broken up with a spoon. Allow beef to cool in the pot until it is cool enough to handle. Transfer to a nonreactive airtight container, preferably a glass jar.

3) While the beef is cooking, peel and cut the potatoes into 16ths. Place in a large stock-pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 10-15 minutes or until fork tender but not falling apart. Drain, cool, and store in an airtight container.

4) When ready to serve, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add one cup of the cooked beef* to the skillet and break it up with a wooden spoon until beef resembles threads. Add 1 cup of potatoes, three chopped hard-boiled eggs, and one tablespoon freshly chopped mint. Cook until heated through, 8-10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

5) Reserve the remaining beef, eggs, potatoes and mint for a future meal.

*This amount serves approximately four people. For a larger portion, simply double or triple the amounts.

Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Passover recipes, passover 2014

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Find us on Facebook!
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight":
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here:
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?

We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.