Veal Stew with Black-Eyed Peas

"Lubyeh B' Lahmeh"

Black-eyed peas symbolize prosperity, abundance and hope for having children because they increase in size when cooked. They also represent our desire to be heartened.  As we eat this food, we associate the Hebrew word “lubia” (black eyed-peas) with “leb” (heart) in a pun, wishing each other all the good it represents for the New Year.



6-8 Servings



  • 2 cups dried black-eyed peas, soaked in cold water, covered, overnight (10-12 hours) and drained
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped onions (yellow)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 pound veal, stewing beef, flanken, or chuck steak, trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch cubes.
  • One 6-ounce can unsalted tomato paste
  • 4 cups cold water (or vegetable broth)
  • 1½ teaspoons salt (Adjust to taste if you use salted vegetable broth)
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (or 1 tsp Allspice; 1 tsp Cinnamon)
  • 2 teaspoons firmly packed dark brown sugar




  1. Rinse and drain the black-eyed peas and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat the oil for 30 seconds over medium heat, then add the onions and cook lightly, stirring, for 2-3 minutes. 
  3. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until golden, an additional 1 minute.  (Be careful not to burn it.) 
  4. Add the meat and cook until all sides are lightly browned and no redness is visible (the meat will not be cooked through at this point). 
  5. Add the tomato paste, water, drained peas, salt, pepper, paprika, cinnamon, allspice (if using,) and brown sugar.  Mix well, cover, and cook over low heat until the peas and meat are very tender, about 1 ½ hours.  (The stew should be bubbling very slightly but not boiling over, and you should check it every 20 minutes or so to make sure that it isn’t burning and needs less or more heat.)


Serve hot over rice.


See Also:

  • Jennifer Felicia Abadi’s A Fistful of Lentils 
  • Poopa Dweck's Aromas of Aleppo: The Legendary Cuisine of Syrian Jews.


For "Rubuh" Veal Pocket stuffed with Spiced Ground Beef and Rice with Vegetables, which is also appropriate for Rosh Hashanah, see Jennifer Felicia Abadi’s “A Fistful of Lentils,” Poopa Dweck's "Aromas of Aleppo: The Legendary Cuisine of Syrian Jews,” or an adaptation of Poopa's recipe at:


Our take on the dish, made with black-eyed peas, green peas and mushrooms to appear below soon.


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