recipe 1... "Reddened" Beef Tessa Kiros

I have chosen to cook a recipe from Tessa Kiros's "Food from Many Greek Kitchens" cookbook because apart from really loving that specific cookbook,I have my own variation to that recipe.  A recipe that has been passed down from my grandmother to my mother and aunts and now to me.  I have chosen to see how this compares   a. to the book and b. to my recipe....

Tessa Kiros's "reddened meat" image from the cookbook

Here is the precise recipe description from "Food from Many Greek Kitchens":

My ingredients all ready...!


6 tablespoons olive oil
6 x 250g slices of beef for stewing about 3cm thick
1 large red onion
125ml red wine
400gm tin crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 thyme sprigs

I use red onions so much for salad this is the first time
I have used them for cooking!

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.  Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan and fry the beef until light golden brown on both sides.  Salt each side as it's done.  Remove to a large cast-iron pot which has a lid.  Add the rest of the olive oil and the onion to a pan and saute it until softened.

My meat all ready to go into the oven! I wish you could smell
how divine it smells! 

Add wine and cook until it has almost evaporated.  Add the crushed tomato and the paste, the cinnamon and parsley, and season with a little salt and pepper.  Bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes squashing the big bits of the tomato with a wooden spoon.  Scrape out over the beef.  Fill the tomato tin with water and add this to the pot.  Add the thyme, cover with the lid and bake for about 2 hours, turning the meat a couple of times.  Add an extra 125mil of water then bake for 30 minutes more.  At the end of this time the beef should be very tender and the sauce thick.  If necessary, add a little hot water towards the end.  Remove from oven and service.


6 long Potatoes (about 300grms)
Light olive oil for frying
salt and pepper and oregano

As I didn't have long potatoes I used 8 smaller ones

Peel the potatoes halve them lengthways and slice each half into 3 or 4 gondolas.  Put into a bowl of cold water with some salt and leave then for 30minutes to 1 hour to soak of some of the starch,  Drain well and pat dry with paper towel and then wrap into a clean tea towel to dry out further.

The chips slowly bubbling away...

Pour a 1cm depth of oil into a large frying pan and heat.  Check to see if its boiled by throwing in a chip if it bubbles its ready.  Pour enough chips in, levelling them so they are not on top of each other. Turn them when necessary, turn the heat down if the oil starts to bubble.  When they are light golden and crispy remove them with a slotted spoon and drain them on a paper towel.  Scatter salt pepper and oregano and serve.

So there is the amazing Tessa Kiros's recipes for both.  The chips might seem a bit lengthy but believe me, they are so worth it and so easy they become second nature...  and so much tastier and healthier then store brought chips and fries...


A relatively easy recipe!  All the ingredients are readily available at both the local supermarket and in my pantry, and there isn't muck preparation or lead times for this dish!  The cooking instructions are pretty simplistic with an ounce of common-sense thrown in as well (allowing your personal taste to in salt/pepper).

And now for the taste test... The meat was absolutely melting in your mouth!  I don't know if my oven is too hot but I found that the onion caramelised and the food was ready about 30 minutes earlier than the prescribed time.  I also found the amount of oil was too much!  I love olive oil but feel that less is more. The fried potato absolutely amazing!  I could have easily cook 18 potatoes instead of 8 and my kids would have finished them!

My family enjoyed this version but the general consensus is that they prefer my version! (they are real suck-ups!)

More of a darkened than "reddened" meat!  My end result!




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