Kokkinisto, Stifado, Giouvetsi / Greek casseroles

From a casserole of “meat in tomato sauce”, you can create many Greek dishes. The starting point is Kokkinisto, if we add onions we get Stifado, add pasta and we have Giouvetsi. Make a big casserole of Kokkinisto, and freeze in suitable portions, this way it’s easy to eat good and Greek, even on a busy day. You can use lamb, pork and beef in these dishes, and some prefer rabbit Stifado, but here, we rely on a piece of beef.

Kokkinisto

  • 1 kg stewing steak
  • 5 to 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 to 4 onions, depending on the size
  • 0,75 cup white wine (or red wine)
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 stock cubes
  • salt, pepper
  • sugar

Cut meat in large pieces and brown well in oil. Cut the onions in rough pieces and fry them some minutes with the beef. Pour over the wine, cook on high heat for a few minutes. Add the rest, and cook under a lid until the meat is tender, at least two hours. Taste to check if you need salt and/or pepper, and if the sauce is tart, add sugar. If the sauce seems thin, cook without the lid for a little while.

Stifado

  • 1 / 2 kg baby onions
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • cinnamon

Peel the onions easily by dipping them in boiling water for a moment, then pour cold water over them.

Fry whole onions in oil, until they get a little colour. Add the crushed garlic at the end. Add this, and the oregano, to the Kokkinisto, and let it cook for at least half an hour. Season to taste with a little cinnamon.

Giouvetsi (photo)

  • 1,5 cup kritharaki or risoni (pasta shaped like rice)
  • 2,5 – 3 cups of water (depending on how rich the sauce is)
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic

Mix the Kokkinisto with the garlic and pour it in an ovenproof dish. Add pasta mixed with water on top, and bake at 180 degrees for about 45 minutes. Let it rest at room temperature for about 30 min. before you eat. Or eat immediately if you are not Greek.

These dishes can be served with salad or cooked vegetables, and bread. With Kokkinisto and Stifado it’s nice, but not required, to serve rice or potatoes too.

You can make the Kokkinisto without the chopped tomatoes, but then you’ll have to add more liquid, like wine/stock/water. The meat must be covered by the liquid while it cooks.

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