Rosalin Gahli and her Msoki Stew for Passover. Photo: Rian
Rosalin Gahli and her Msoki Stew for Passover. Photo: Rian
Recipe

Tunisian Passover Msoki

Msoki is a Tunisian dish prepared for Passover, which includes the three most important elements of the holiday

“In Msoki there will always be lamb, which was the Passover sacrifice in the days of the Temple; many green herbs that are used here for maror; and matzah, which absorbs the flavors of the dish. In my family, they also add rozbena – a spring “sausage” made from intestine stuffed with lamb stomach and seasoned with herbs. We like to use round, thick matzah, imported from France. If you use regular matzah, add it right before serving.”

If you are reluctant to mess with the intestines, you can cook the stuffing inside a cooking bag; see instructions at the end of the recipe.

Ingredients for Passover Msoki

For the msoki:

  • 2.2 lbs (1 kilogram) lamb chops, cut into large cubes with the bones
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon harissa
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 dried roses
  • 3 lbs 5 oz (1½ kilograms) spinach or Swiss chard, green part only, chopped
  • 2 lbs 1.6 oz (1 kilogram) green fava beans peeled from the pod and the thin skin (weight after peeling)
  • 5-6 carrots cut into small cubes
  • 2-3 turnips cut into small cubes
  • 1 Kohlrabi cut into small cubes
  • 5-6 scallions white part only, cut into rings
  • 3-4 leeks only the white part, cut into cubes
  • 1 small cabbage cut into cubes
  • 2-3 celery stalks chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves medium sized, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch dill fronds only, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch parsley leaves only, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro leaves only, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch mint leaves chopped

For the rozbena:

  • 8.8 oz (250 grams) lamb stomach
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro leaves only
  • 1/4 bunch parsley leaves only
  • 1 celery stalks chopped
  • 1 bunch spinach or chard, the green part only
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon harissa (or more if you like it spicier)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 lamb intestine, or synthetic casings, for filling

To serve:

  • matzahs Preferably round and thick

Instructions

Prepare the rozbena:

  • 1. Grind the coriander, parsley, celery, spinach or chard and garlic into a uniform paste. Add the chopped leeks, season with harissa, salt and pepper, mix, taste and adjust seasoning. Add the lamb stomach.

  • 2. Fill the intestines, close tightly and keep aside.

Prepare the msoki:

  • 3. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large pot. Fry the lamb cubes on high heat for 2-3 minutes on each side until browned.

  • 4. Add the rozbena and fry it for 2-3 minutes on each side until browned.

  • 5. Add the black pepper, paprika, garlic, coriander seeds, cinnamon and roses and add water to cover. Bring to a boil, lower the flame, cover the pot and cook for 45-60 minutes until the meat is tender.

  • 6. Add the rest of the ingredients - the vegetables and herbs - increase the heat and bring to a boil while stirring; the vegetables will absorb liquid, but if the bottom of the pot seems dry, add a little more water. Lower the heat and cook for at least an hour, until the hard vegetables soften.

  • 7. If you have thick matzah, before you start reading the Haggadah, wet the matzah, break into coarse pieces and add to the msoki. If using regular matzah - each diner adds them to his dish when served.

◆ ◆ ◆

You can make a rozbena inside a cooking bag: place the filling in a roll along the long side of the bag and leave a margin about 5 cm wide between the filling and the opening of the bag. Fold the edges of the bag inward, to close, then roll the bag along the long side into a tight roll. Skip the pre-frying step for the rozbena and add it in together with the spices and water.

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