Convivencia, February 21, 2004

Mukhallal: "Wedding Dish" of Beef

Anonymous Andalusian Manuscript, trans. Charles Perry

Take the meat of a plump cow or sheep, cut it small, and put it in a new pot with salt, pepper, coriander, cumin, plenty of saffron, garlic peeled and diced, almonds peeled and split, and plenty of oil; cover it with
strong, very pure vinegar, without the slightest bit of water; put it on a moderate charcoal fire and stir it, then boil it. When it cooks and the meat softens and it reduces, then put it on the hearthstone and coat it
with much egg, cinnamon and lavender; color it with plenty of saffron, as desired, and put in it whole egg yolks and leave it on the hearthstone until it thickens and the broth evaporates and the fat appears. This dish lasts many days without changing or spoiling; it is called "wedding food" in the West [or the Algarve], and it is one of the seven dishes cited as used among us at banquets in Cordoba and Seville.

  1. Cut up the beef into cubes and put it in a non-reactive, heavy-bottomed pot.
  2. Sprinkle onto the beef a seasoning of salt, pepper, coriander, cumin, saffron, diced garlic, split almonds
  3. With your hands, Mix in olive oil as needed to coat the meat and distribute the seasonings
  4. Pour in enough vinegar to cover the meat.
  5. Cook on low heat until it boils. Remove a little of the vinegar if necessary.
  6. Add 10-11 eggs, cinnamon, lavender, saffron; mix to coat
  7. Top with whole eggyolks
  8. Cook on very low heat until ready to serve-- liquid should be very reduced.


From the files of Jadwiga Zajaczkowa (Jenne Heise), 2004