Recipe Corner: Aunt Roza’s Tas Kebab


Victoria Kabakian, food writer, recipe developer, travel journalist, and founder of the Mission: Food blog since 2009, has been blogging for over eleven years.  A Rhode Island native, she has a particular weakness when it comes to good food and cookbooks; not only does she collect cookbooks (she owns more than 200), buts she loves reviewing new cookbook releases, testing new recipes, and commenting on their appeal and practicality.

Victoria’s beloved Aunt Roza passed away in September 2018.  She was known for her famous rice pilaf, Armenian Baked Macaroni and Cheese, buttery baklava, and her delicious tas kebab recipe that our entire family enjoyed for many years.”

“Tas kebab is a simple spiced stewed beef with Armenian, Persian, and Turkish origins,” Victoria says.


3 pounds beef chuck, cubed into 2-inch pieces

1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns

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1 tablespoon allspice berries

2 bay leaves

1/4 cup tomato paste

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Rice pilaf for serving


Serves 6-8.


Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Set aside.

Rinse the beef with cold water.  Drain and add to a large pot.  Cover with cold water by about 2 inches. Heat over medium-high heat, skimming impurities off the surface.  When the water starts to boil, remove from the heat, drain into a colander and rinse the beef with cold water.

Wrap the peppercorns, allspice berries, and bay leaves in a piece of cheesecloth, and tie it with kitchen string.

Wipe the pot clean, add the beef back along with 6 cups of boiled water, the butter, tomato paste, salt, cinnamon, and the spice bundle. Return to high heat and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to simmer covered for about 2 1/2 hours or until the beef is easily cut with the side of a spoon (Victoria’s aunt would cook the meat until it was actually falling apart, so aim for significantly longer than fork tender).

This recipe is best when made a day or more ahead of time and reheated prior to serving, as this allows the flavors to develop.  Remove spice bundle, squeeze out excess juices, and discard before serving.  Serve tas kebab spooned over rice pilaf in wide serving bowls or plates.


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