( SERVES 4 )
Photo by Tam West
Famous for its fragrant and unique flavours, this traditional Greek stew is often made with rabbit, and even octopus. It tastes even better the day after it has been cooked, when you can reheat and then shred the meat in to the juices, season and serve with pasta. The slow cooker will also make a great job of cooking this.
|1 tsp||All spice berries|
|1 tsp||Dried oregano|
|1 tsp||Grated nutmeg, or mace|
|1 piece||Cinnamon bark, small|
|3||Cloves, use up to 5|
|5||Garlic cloves, peeled|
|2 Tbsp||Red wine vinegar, or cider vinegar|
|1 cup||Red wine, use something full and gutsy that's worth drinking|
|2 Tbsp||Olive oil|
|12 whole||Shallots, use up to 18, peeled|
|1 kg||Stewing beef, such as chuck or shin; cut into large chunks|
|2 large||Tomatoes, diced|
|1 Tbsp||Tomato paste|
|1 cup||Beef stock, or use chicken stock|
|1 small handful||Chopped parsley, to serve|
- Heat the oven to 150C.
- In a mortar and pestle (or spice grinder) crush all spices until fine. Add garlic, 1 tsp salt, and crush into a paste. Rub into meat, add to a non-reactive container with bay leaves and vinegar, then cover with ⅔ cup wine. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Next day, remove the meat and lightly pat dry, reserving the marinade.
- Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a casserole dish, add shallots and turn often to just colour all over. Remove. Add the other Tbsp oil and reheat frying pan until hot.
- Working in stages (don’t crowd the pan) add meat and brown all over, then remove. Deglaze with ⅓ cup more wine, stirring to lift the brownings from the pan into the liquor. Add tomatoes and tomato paste. Simmer to combine and reduce, then return the marinade, bay leaves, onions and beef to the dish. Add a little stock to just cover the meat (approx. ½cup), cover the casserole and cook in the oven for 3-4 hours, or until the meat is completely tender.
- Remove the meat and onions (returning them to reheat later) and boil the juices down to a thicker sauce. Serve the stew with lots of chopped parsley over orzo pasta or rice. Or, try a creamy polenta mixed with pickled jalapeno.
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