Almost Turkish Recipes

Fennel with Meat (Etli Rezene)

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.



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  2. Looks good, but have a couple of questions. One, there is celery in your picture but not in the recipe, why is that? Two, can stew meat cook and be done in an hour with no liquid in the pot?

  3. Marjorie, there isn't celery in the picture; it's all parts of a fennel bulb, and, yes, on very low you can cook stew beef in an hour. It turns out really nice. But if you like you can add 2 tbsp water--the first time I tried I was suspicious, too, and had cooked it with water.

  4. Guess that shows I've never seen a fennel bulb before, much less cooked with one. LOL! Thanks, Burcu.

  5. Anonymous1:21 PM

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  6. I think fennel loses a lot of its aniseed flavour when it's cooked. I like to use it in a sauce with fresh tomatoes as the base for a mussel dish - recipe here

    Really enjoying your beautiful tasty blog. I have been looking for Turkish recipes to try.

  7. Hello Almost Turkish,
    Great blog! I often feature Turkish recipes as well (from Istanbul originally but currently living in Canada). I look forward to following your great recipes! So much to discover ...
    FoodieWifeTO (Serda)

  8. I have not cooked fennel until recently myself; in Lebanon, wild fennel covers the mountains and even coastal areas; yet people don't cook much with it either! only use it as a tea~ this dish looks good and homey.

  9. I haven't been here in ages! Hope you are well.

  10. Anonymous4:35 PM

    delicious, and definitely to be recommended

  11. I like the name of your blog. "almost Turkish". Not sure what it means but it made me smile :) Your recipes are fabulous my dear.

  12. Cooking this for dinner tomorrow - before my access to blogger gets cut off by yet another Turkish court decision!