Syrian Stew Beef

I had a hard time figuring out what to call this one. It’s based upon the Traditional Syrian Shish Kebab recipe I got from a co-worker at PAR Government Systems, over 30 years ago. I’ve added a couple of ingredients and am using it to marinate stew beef before pressure cooking. While this version is not a “traditional” Syrian dish, the name is the best I can think of.

I whipped this up last year when the sons were visiting, posted a summary on Facebook, but never (as far as I can tell) saved the recipe. It popped up in a “memory” on FB, which proves that FB is useful for something!

Syrian Stew Beef


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cognac (use cheap stuff)
  • 2 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • large spoon minced garlic


  • 2 lbs lean stew beef
  • 1 cup stock
  • 2 Tbsp dehydrated onion

Mix the marinade ingredients in a 1 gallon ziplock bag. Add the beef and mix to coat. Marinate for 4 to 24 hours, manipulating the bag periodically to ensure the meat is marinating evenly.

I used an electric pressure cooker. Brown the meat, then add the marinade, stock, and onion. Pressure cook for 15 minutes.


Instead of cognac, brandy, bourbon, or any liquor you like can be used. I like cognac/French brandy as I like the flavor it imparts, but they all work. Don’t use top shelf, unless your pockets are deeper than mine.

I can’t recall why I used dehydrated onions — I was probably out of fresh onions. I’d substitute a small to medium onion, minced.

Use whatever stock you want. I used vegetable stock as that is what I had open in the fridge. Beef or chicken are fine.

Next time I make this I’m going to add 2 Tbsp corn starch to the marinade. It will help tenderize the beef AND thicken the final sauce.

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