musa dagh zucchini and potato stew

Stew usually has big chunks of large farm animals as the characterizing ingredient, plus some veggies and sauce. This one is a little different because the large farm animals are processed into America's favorite fast food format: hamburger meat. Ground beef. Recipe ready cow. No obvious carnivore clues to remind us false vegetarians of what we're really eating.

This recipe is from the Anjar St Paul's Orthodox Church Women's Association Cookbook (2001). Translated from the Armenian, executed and slightly improved upon by Isgouhi for the son-in-law who now always comes to dinner armed with his digital camera. Eager to be impressed. And add to his on-line food not-quite-blog content. Stew is great winter comfort food. And we were suitably comforted.


farm animal starter
1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 T oil or cooking spray
veggie chunks
5 medium potatoes, cubed
2 medium zucchini, chopped
sauce stuff
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
6 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 T tomato paste
1/2 T red pepper paste
2 c water
1/4 t black pepper
1 t salt
1/4 t allspice (isgouhi add-in)
1/4 t red pepper (isgouhi add-in)


  1. Prep the veggies.
  2. Brown the ground beef with the onions using oil or cooking spray in the bottom of a pressure cooker.
  3. When the browned state is achieved, add the potatoes and zucchini and cook for another few minutes.
  4. Dump in the sauce stuff and bring to a boil. Adjust spices.
  5. Close the pressure cooker and bring to full steam. Cook 5 minutes.
  6. Cool and open the cooker.
  7. Cook opened for 1/2 hr to evaporate some water and thicken the sauce.


  1. Serve with plain yogurt on the side. Isgouhi also makes really creamy homemade yogurt for us. The store-bought stuff can't compete with its flavor.
  2. Funny sketch idea for cow in pot.
  3. Illustrations available.
mdzpstw.htm: 31-jan-2010 [what, ME cook? 1984 dr bob enterprises]