abgoosht or abgusht: (a traditional persian beef stew)

an abgoosht { water-meat } story…

cooking minette's abgoosht


Ābgusht (Persian: آبگوشت‎, literally translated as “water-meat”), is a Persian and Mesopotamian stew 

{per sahar’s request-abgoosht, the way i imagine our grandma used to make it}:my cousin and i grew up together until the age of eleven or twelve when she moved to another country, and life as we knew it came to (a rather abrupt) end. when i say we grew up together, i mean we did everything together-i saw her first thing every morning on the school bus that took us to the same school-we learned to swim, (attempted to) dance, ride horses, make snowmen, climb trees (or not so much) to pick (and eat) fruit, make makeshift houses out of furniture, eat (lots of) candy, laugh and cry together. sadly, we still live too far apart, but the bond and love we shared as kids remains strong-i miss her. she’s been following this blog (she encouraged me to start), and it makes me so happy to know that it connects us through our collective love for the food we grew up with and shared (particularly every friday around our grandmother’s table). when she asked me to make abgoosht for the next blog post, i realized this dish (and the incredible aroma it creates as it slowly cooks) is intertwined with so many of our shared memories-of family, warmth, comfort, and love.



  • 2 pounds organic grass fed beef or veal shank (or lamb), 1 pound stew (grass fed) meat
  • 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and sliced or cubed
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled, crushed, and sliced
  • 1 cup (or slightly more) cooked garbanzo beans+
  • 1 cup (or more) cooked white beans+
  • 3-4 sm/medium potatoes (i used yukon gold)-peeled and quartered or halved
  • 2-3 tsp turmeric
  • 1-2 tsp ground saffron (or saffron strands seeped in a few drops of hot water)
  • sea salt & freshly cracked pepper
  • 2-3 tsp tomato paste
  • 3 ripe tomatoes
  • 4-5 whole (pierced) persian limes-“limu -omani” *you can substitute juice of 2-3 fresh limes
  • 1 tbsp oil (safflower or grape seed)
  • 5-6 cups water
  • 3 italian eggplants, peeled and halved *optional*

+ soak your beans overnight and cook them in salted water separately for about 30-40 minutes. they will cook again with the stew, so do not over cook them. you may also add them uncooked to the stew from the beginning (when you add the water), but that is not my preference as they tend to either disintegrate or not cook enough-you can also use canned beans if you’d like.

1. sautee the onions and garlic in the oil in a large heavy pot for a minute, then add the beef. sprinkle with the turmeric, salt, and pepper, and brown on both sides.

2. once the beef is browned on all sides, add the pierced dried lemons, tomato paste and water. cover and simmer for about an hour.

3. after simmering for an hour, add the cooked beans, potatoes, and eggplants, and simmer for another 45 minutes. add the quartered tomatoes and saffron, and simmer for another 15 minutes. how to serve this? continued below…

cooking minette's abgoosht

4. for the “tileet“(or soup):
-serve the liquid (soup) in small bowls with flat bread broken in to it in small pieces:


5. for “goosht koobideh” or mashed beef:
take a portion of the ingredients (the stewed beef and some of the shank, potatoes, beans, etc.) and mash them up. this is easy to do because it is all braised really well and soft-add some freshly ground pepper, and serve with flat bread and fresh herbs ( such as lemon basil and mint-you make little bites or sandwiches). this is delicious in a sandwich cold the next day.

abgoosht koobideh



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