The famous Greek style beef stew is a winner in the category of “Favorite mom dish”. Everybody in Greece claims that their mother makes the best beef stew and we tend to overreact when defending our mom! And her stew!
Basically the recipe is more or less the same, large pieces of beef cooked in a rich, thick sauce, with a few differences regarding the spices used. What’s most important is the quality of the meat plus the fact that it must be cooked to a tender point.
Greek style beef stew
1 kilo stew beef cut into large pieces
1 large onion finely chopped
1 garlic clove finely chopped
1 can tomatoes chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste dissolved in a glass of water
1 glass white wine
1 cinnamon stick- about two inches long
3-4 whole cloves
3-4 allspice corns
½ cup esti extra virgin olive oil
spaghetti, macceroncini or rice to accompany.
Kefalotíri cheese (or parmesan) to serve.
In a large pot add olive oil and allow to heat. Add the meat and sauté well until every side of the meat pieces is browned perfectly. Add garlic and onion and stir. Continue to sauté for a few minutes- do not let onion brown. Pour in wine and cook until it evaporates. Add tomatoes, tomato paste and spices, salt and pepper. Stir.
As soon as the sauce comes to a boil, add hot water, enough to cover the meat , turn the heat down, cover the pot and let it be cooked gently for at least 1 ½ hour. Uncover and let sauce thicken. By now the meat must be tender.
Cook spaghetti or maccheroncini (far better and recommended) or rice . Serve with abundant sauce and a piece of meat (or two) and grated cheese on the top.