I recently decided it was time to move away from my comfort zone of cake baking and cook something a little meatier – literally. This Sephardic Jewish beef short rib and meatball soup seemed like the perfect dish.
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5 Jun 2013 - 10:15 AM  UPDATED 21 Aug 2014 - 11:30 AM

Traditionally eaten on the Sabbath (day of rest), this soup was designed to be partially cooked the night before, then left to finish cooking overnight in the cooling coals of a baker’s oven. There are as many dafina (or cholent) recipes as there are Jewish mothers, but all are meat-based and include some kind of legume. Our recipe uses beef short ribs (ask your butcher) and herbed meatballs. I was worried that there wasn't quite "enough" to this soup and that the flavour would be a little bland (I had my srichacha at the ready). Well, my apologies for underestimating this one – it was robust, full-flavoured and a big hit with resident meat fan Mr Ed.

I'm not sure that I did the silverbeet quite right, but it added a lovely smokey flavour to the dish. This makes four very generous portions and could easily feed more if served with couscous or barley.

Which recipe does your family have its own variation of?

Happy feasting.

Editor, Feast