I grew up with this favorite recipe from my mom... and every time I make it, the smells in the kitchen remind me of home. This quince and beef stew is the most popular Persian food recipe on the blog for good reason, and sure to please everyone at the dinner table. This comfort dish is exactly what your Fall menu is missing!
This quince stew is one you can find it in any Persian home, all Persian restaurants, or even at Persian weddings. And it's popular for good reason!
What is quince, when to buy it, and recipes that use it
Quince is in the apple family and isn't a fruit I enjoy eating raw. It tastes best in stews, jams, and pies. The flesh is harder than apples and pears, so make sure you are using a sharp knife to cut into it.
Quince is only easy to find in the Fall. This is a dish I crave often, so freezing the quince is a great way to always have them on hand. Simply quarter, remove the core and freeze in an airtight container. Remove as much air as possible. They keep in the freezer for up to 18 months.
If you have extra and want to make more recipes with quince, then try this delicious quince & cardamom jam.
Ingredients for this quince & plum Persian beef stew
If you can't find pomegranate molasses, you can buy pomegranate juice, and reduce it down until it is syrupy, ~75%. Pomegranate molasses is not known to be sweet but has an awesome tanginess that is tasty in stews, marinades, with lamb, and even salad dressings.
Check out my other Persian stew recipes and Persian family recipes here.
Step by step quince stew with photos
Sautee the onion in the canola oil over medium-high heat (photo 1). Add the beef, turmeric, salt, and pepper (photo 2) and saute until brown on all sides (photo 3).
Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, pomegranate molasses, and 4 cups water (photo 1 below). Bring to boil. Lower to simmer. Simmer for 1 hour (photo 2 below).
Add the prunes and quince (photo 1 below). Cook 30 minutes or until the quince is tender. To add the saffron (before serving), steep a pinch of saffron in 3 tablespoon of hot water (photo 2 below), then add the saffron and water to the stew and stir to mix (photo 3 below).
Serve with basmati rice. Noush-ie-jan!
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Persian Quince & Plum Beef Stew
- 2 lbs. beef chuck or cow neck, cut into 1 ½ inch cubes
- 1 medium onion chopped or sliced in half moons
- 16 oz tomato sauce
- 3 oz tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
- 3 quinces each cut in 8 wedges (If you can't find quince, you can substitute with granny smith apples. However, do not add the apples until the last 15-20 minutes.)
- ¾ cup prunes
- 2 tablespoon canola oil
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- Optional: a few strings of saffron brewed in 3 tablespoon hot water
- Salt and pepper
- Sautee the onion in the canola oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the beef, turmeric, salt, and pepper and sautee until brown on all sides.
- Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, pomegranate molasses and 4 cups water. Bring to boil. Lower to simmer. Add the prunes and quince. Simmer for 90 minutes.
- Optional: Before serving, add the saffron and mix.
- Serve with basmati rice. Noush-ie-jan!
This post was originally published in January of 2017 but was republished with new photos, step by step instructions, and tips October of 2019.