Soffrito Beef in Pomegranate Seeds for Breaking the Yom Kippur Fast

A Jerusalem-Sephardic dish from the kitchen of Rachelle Sasson.

This recipe is from Haaretz's archives.

This dish comes from the Jerusalem-Sephardic kitchen of Rachelle Sasson, Aviva Ben-Yosef's mother. It appears in Ben-Yosef's new and appetizing book (in Hebrew), "The Cook from Agrippas Street" (Karpad Publishers).


1 kg. top side of beef
1/2 kg. thin ribs
4 lge. onions, diced small
2 tbsp. crushed garlic
1 level tsp. salt
a pinch each of coarsely ground black pepper, coarsely ground English pepper, cinnamon, ground allspice, baharat (not combined)
1/2 tsp. sweet or hot paprika
1 cup consomme
seeds of 3 pomegranates
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. honey


1. Slice the meat into thick slices and lay in a flat pan. Cover with water and boil. Strain, rinse well and set aside.

2. Heat the oil in a flat pan and saute the onions until golden. Add 1 tbsp. of the crushed garlic, the two peppers and the allspice, and mix.

3. Add the slices of meat and cook for about 20 minutes.

4. Pour the consomme over and cook, partially covered, for about an hour on a low flame.

5. Crush the pomegranate seeds through a fine strainer, until you have half a cup of juice.

6. Add the lemon juice to the pomegranate juice together with the honey, the cinnamon, the rest of the garlic, the baharat, paprika and salt. Mix well and pour into the meat pan.

7. Mix, cook about another 15 minutes and add the rest of the pomegranate seeds.

8. Cook, covered, for about another 20 minutes.

9. Lower the flame to the minimum and cook for another 45 minutes.

10. Serve with saffron rice or cooked potatoes.

Emil Salman