Tzimmes is a traditional Jewish casserole of sweet and white potatoes, carrots and dried fruits. Joel named his version Shabbat Nachum in honor of the Scripture reading at a certain Friday night service in Los Angeles. The text that evening was from Isaiah 40:1: Comfort, yes, comfort My people.” In Hebrew the words are, “Nachum, nachum, ami.” Does that sound too complicated? “Don’t worry,” says Melissa, “you can make Tzimmes Shabbat Nachum without understanding a word of Hebrew, and you can enjoy it any day of the week.”

  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 pounds lean chuck or brisket, cut in bite-size pieces
  • 2 medium or 1 large sweet potato, quartered
  • 6 large carrots, sliced in rounds
  • 2 white potatoes, quartered
  • 2 large apples, cubed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice

Saute the onion in some oil for several minutes, add the meat and brown, adding salt and pepper to taste. Add water, honey, cinnamon and allspice. Bring to a boil and add both types of potatoes and carrots. Return to a boil, then simmer, covered. While simmering, peel and cut the apples into small cubes; add to the pot. Cook over very low flame or in 250 degree oven for 3 hours. Makes 4-6 servings.