There’s nothing quite as satisfying as bringing a bubbling toasty summer vegetable stew out of the oven. This Armenian vegetable stew (called Sharovi) captures all the vibrant flavors of summer, marinating and cooking them to perfection. It’s a true celebration of the season’s harvest.
Traditionally this stew was prepared in a wood-burning tonir (underground oven) or an ojakh (stone-built hearth), and slow-cooked in big copper pots. As a special touch, the dish absorbs a subtle smokiness from the cooking process, making it a true taste of summer.
What’s unique about this Recipe?
The traditional recipe includes meat, mostly lamb or beef. Everything cooks in one pot, which is an example of a traditional slow cooking method. This recipe can easily be adapted for people with plant or meat preferences.
I am also adding a few steps to mimic cooking it in a wood burning tonir, so you can easily cook it in a home setting. The toasting of the eggplants and pepper provide a smoky touch. Frying onions beforehand caramelizes and brings out the natural sweetness of the onion. For ease of process you can chop all the vegetables and layer them (just don’t forget to season each layer with a generous amount of herbs in between.) Save some fresh herbs to garnish the stew when you serve it.
Here’s why this dish in unique:
Grocery and Pantry List
Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven.
Special Tools to Use:
Recipe Steps at a Glance
Step-by-step: How to Make
Step 1: Preparing the vegetables
Eggplants and Bell Peppers:
For an added smoky flavor, consider roasting the eggplants and bell peppers. If you prefer not to roast them, you can chop them directly.
To roast, place them on a stovetop or a cast iron pan until the skin begins to blister and char. No need to fully cook them. Remove from heat, cover for a few minutes until they cool enough to handle, and peel off as much charred skin as possible. Then, slice the peppers and cut the eggplants into rounds.
Peel the potatoes and slice them into round disks. Keep them submerged in water until you’re ready to use them.
Remove the ends of the zucchinis and slice them into rounds.
For an extra layer of flavor, you can caramelize the onions. Dice them and sauté in olive oil until fragrant.
Green String Beans:
Trim the tops and tips of the beans, and remove the strings. Slice them diagonally and blanch in a small amount of water.
Beef (if using):
If opting for beef, cut chuck beef into 2-3 inch cubes, pat them dry, and season with salt and pepper. Sear them in butter, turning until they’re browned on all sides. Add some water, cover, and let braise on low heat for 10 minutes.
Prepare the tomatoes as needed.
Chop the herbs, reserving a tablespoon of the herb blend.
Step 2: Layering the vegetables
Choose an oven-proof baking dish with a cover for this recipe.
Begin by adding a layer of olive oil to the bottom of the dish.
Spread one-third of the sautéed onions evenly across the bottom. Arrange the potato disks in a shingle pattern on top of the onions, then season with salt and pepper.
Follow the potatoes with a layer of zucchini slices, then eggplant, green beans, bell peppers, tomatoes, and herbs. After each layer of vegetables, be sure to season with salt and pepper.
Repeat these layers in the same order.
Pour in the liquid you reserved from blanching the beans and boiling water. Be mindful not to completely submerge the vegetables; the liquid should come close but not cover them. If you prefer, you can use beef broth as a substitute.
If you’re including beef in your dish, nestle the beef chunks within the stew.
Finish by drizzling everything with olive oil, covering the dish with its lid.
Step 3: Baking sharovi
Preheat the oven to 350°F(180°C) degrees, and at the same time place the baking cookery in the oven. Cook for an hour.
To check for doneness, test the beef or beans. They should be fork tender.
Finally, uncover the dish and switch on the broiler setting for 4-5 minutes or until you notice some browning.
Best Way to Serve
Tips and Wisdom from Cafe Osharak
Frequently Asked Questions
What vegetables are good in stew?
You can use any vegetables available in the season. Eggplants, zucchini, peppers, string beans, okra, turnip, potatoes are all good options.
Can you make the stew with vegetable and meat?
Absolutely. Brown the beef or lamb in butter first, braise in small amount of water for 10 minute. After you layer the vegetables, nestle the beef or lamb chunks in different places. Cover and cook. Check for doneness of the beef after 1 hour.
Can you freeze the summer stew?
The stew freezes well. Store in a freezer-friendly glass or plastic container, but leave 1/2 inch (1 cm) space. Lay parchment paper immediately adhering the stew, close the lid and freeze for up to 3 months. To spruce up the stew when reheating, add some fresh herbs and tomatoes.
More Recipes to Try From Cafe Osharak
If you try out this recipe, I would love to hear from you. Let me know if you find it delicious and straightforward to prepare. I am here to answer any questions and provide any suggestions. Also, be sure to explore other recipes from Cafe Osharak, as I’m sure you’ll love them too!
- 1 onion (200 grams) diced
- 3-4 potatoes (500 grams) cut into rounds
- 3 eggplants medium size (300 grams) cut into rounds
- 3 zucchinis (300 grams) cut into rounds
- 2-3 cups green beans 500 grams cut into bias
- 3 tablespoon Olive oil
- 2 bell peppers
- 2 tomatoes sliced into rounds
- ½ cup mixed herbs chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
Prepare the Vegetables:
- For the Eggplants and Bell Peppers: Consider roasting for a smoky touch.3 eggplants medium size (300 grams) cut into rounds, 2 bell peppers
- For the Potatoes: Peel and slice into rounds, keeping them in water.3-4 potatoes (500 grams) cut into rounds
- For the Zucchini: Slice into rounds.3 zucchinis (300 grams) cut into rounds
- For the Onions: Dice and sauté for extra flavor.1 onion (200 grams) diced
- For the Green String Beans: Trim, slice diagonally, and blanch.2-3 cups green beans
- For the Beef (if using): Cut into cubes, sear, and simmer.
- For the Tomatoes: Prepare as needed.2 tomatoes sliced into rounds
- For the Herbs: Chop, reserving a tablespoon.½ cup mixed herbs chopped
For the Assembly:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) degrees.
- Use an oven-proof baking dish with a cover.
- Start with a layer of olive oil.3 tablespoon Olive oil
- Spread one-third of the sautéed onions evenly.
- Arrange potato disks in a shingle pattern, season.1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper
- Add layers of zucchini, eggplant, green beans, bell peppers, tomatoes, and herbs, seasoning each.
- Repeat these layers.
- Pour in reserved liquid, ensuring it doesn’t fully cover the vegetables. Use beef broth if preferred.
- Nestle beef chunks if included.
- Drizzle olive oil, cover.
- Turn the oven to 350°F(180°C) degrees and bake for an hour. (no need to preheat)
- Check for doneness, then broil for 4-5 minutes to brown.