The Aegean cuisine in Turkey is known for its greens. It is truly unbelievable how many different green plants/weeds and in how many different ways the Aegeans can cook. Among all those greens fennel is a popular one. Although it has numerous health benefits, fennel has a distinct flavor resembling anise that a lot of people, including myself, cannot stand. Mainly for this reason, although intrigued, I avoided cooking with fennel for a long time. When I finally decided to give it a try, my first choice of recipe was a very traditional and a very basic one which would not require any kind of spice to cover up that distinct flavor. Although I was prepared for the worse, I have to admit that I was nicely surprised. This is a very easy-to-make, very light recipe with fantastic flavors. I follow a Turkish blogger's, Miss Cilek's recipe.
1 bulb fennel, washed and coarsely chopped
1/2 lb stew beef (the original recipe asks for lamb on bone, but for me one strong smell was enough)
1 bunch green onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp butter (this is my addition; the original recipe does not ask for any)
salt and pepper
-Place the stew beef at the bottom of a pot so that they won't be on top of each other.
-Put first green onion then fennel on top and finish with the butter.
-Add salt and black pepper and cover.
-Cook on low for ~1 hour.
-Serve with rice or bread.