Introduction: Homemade Tzimmes

I have always enjoyed trying new foods, especially ones that have some culture and creativity behind it. This simple homemade tzimmes is sure to add some new flavors to your tongue’s palette. This unique, Jewish originated dish has been one of my favorites since I was a child and it’s only fair that I get to share it with somebody that has never tried it before or that wants a new approach to their previous recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Step 1: Ingredients and Supplies

Ingredients you will need:

  • 1-2 pounds stew meat (with some fat on it)
  • 2 pounds (or more) carrots peeled and sliced about 1/4" slices
  • brown sugar (Start with ¼ cup and add as needed)
  • cinnamon (to taste)
  • 3 medium potatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1/2 cup matzo meal
  • 1/4 oil
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Equipment you will need:

  • An oven
  • A pot big enough for the meat and carrots
  • Strainer
  • Peeler and Grater
  • Oven Safe Deep Dish, A 12x8” should be fine
  • Ladle (Big spoon)
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Peeler
  • Large Stirring Spoon
  • Chef Knife

Step 2: Stovetop Business

First, place the stew meat in a large pot on top of the stove and add enough water so that it is covering the meat completely. Don’t be shy when you put water in there, we will need the extra water for the later steps! Add some salt to the pot and let it sit on Medium-High for about an hour.

When the meat is cooked through, add the carrots to the water and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Check the carrots for tenderness by cutting it with any utensil. If the carrots are tender, it will go right through. Otherwise, let the carrots cook for a little longer until they become tender.

Step 3: Straining the Pot

After the carrots become tender, grab your strainer (or slotted spoon would work great too), and scoop out the meat and potatoes and transfer them to the oven safe dish, but leave the water in the pot. Leave a gap in the middle of the meat and carrots.

Step 4: The Sweetness

You are now going to add brown sugar to the remaining water. This will create a sort of “syrup”. Depending on how sweet you want the dish all depends on how much brown sugar you add. The more brown sugar, the sweeter! In my experience, the more you have the better. Then, add some cinnamon to taste.

Pour your new mixture over the meat and carrots in the dish pan, making sure it covers the bottom of the pan completely, but be sure to keep some extra for the next steps!

Step 5: The Knaidle

It is now time to make the Knaidle, or the potato part of the dish. Use the peeler to peel each of the potatoes and use a knife to remove the outer skin off of the onion, and then proceed grate them individually. It makes it easier to grate the potatoes and onion over a large mixing bowl, so the ingredients fall right in.

Step 6: Mixing

With the potatoes and onion in a mixing bowl, add the matzo mix, oil, and a dash of salt and pepper into the bowl as well. Then, place the new mixture in the center of the meat and carrot depression and scoop the knaidle in it. Use about a half cup of the remaining liquid and pour it over the dish.

Tip: I like to add a little orange juice to the syrup as a sweet thinner, but it’s up to you!

Step 7: Cook Time!

Place the dish with all of the ingredients in it into the oven uncovered. Let it bake for 90-120 minutes (1.5-2 hours). Be sure to put the extra syrup we saved over it periodically so that the dish does not dry out!

The biggest thing to remember about this dish is that looks can be deceiving. Don’t let the appearance of the tzimmes fool you, it is very tasty!

Let cool for 5 minutes out of the oven, then scoop out and enjoy!