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The Hirshon Jewish Tunisian Spicy Greens With Beans And Meat - بكيلا or Pkaïla

The Hirshon Jewish Tunisian Spicy Greens With Beans And Meat – بكيلا or Pkaïla

  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours
  • Total Time: 0 hours


  • 1 lb of dry white beans, soaked overnight – you can use cannellini, great northern, navy, etc. – TFD prefers cannellini
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound baby spinach, trimmed and washed
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 6 cloves garlic, mashed
  • 1 ½ lbs beef, TFD strongly prefers beef cheek, but fatty beef shank works as well
  • ½ pound merguez sausage, whole
  • 1 calf’s foot, quartered (optional but it helps contribute to the pkaïla’s overall smoothness and flavor)
  • 1 recipe of Hirshon Green Tunisian Harissa + 2 extra teaspoons freshly-ground cumin, an addition of 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, coarsely chopped and an addition of ½ teaspoon dried Persian lime powder
  • 2 tbsp. Tunisian rose petal harissa (optional but strongly recommended)
  • 3 1 ½ “ thick pieces of bone marrow (optional but strongly recommended)
  • kosher salt


  1. Chop fresh spinach (or use frozen chopped spinach). Cook over medium heat in Dutch oven and stir quite regularly with a wooden spoon. Once spinach is almost done with releasing steam, start adding oil. Continue to stir and add oil fairly regularly (for about 1 to 1½ hours) until color turns black but spinach is not burnt.
  2. Drain the spinach to extract the oil. Sauté the garlic, onion, harissa, the cow’s (or calf’s) foot, the beef in this oil for a few minutes. Then add the beans, spinach, salt, pepper and cover with water.
  3. Simmer covered on low heat for at least 2 to 3 hours or until the meat is tender. Add the green harissa and optional rose harissa 30 minutes before the end of cooking.
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