Greek reddened beef stew is a warm and cozy traditional staple dish in Greece and can be served with pasta, fried potatoes, mashed potatoes, rice or with orzo pasta as a yuveci.
My mother used to serve reddened beef with mashed potatoes but I prefer, what else, pasta. I may have chagned the mashed potatoes with pasta but I didn’t change the cooking method of the beef which makes it meltingly tender. Greek reddened beef stew is cooked at a relatively low temperature – simmered, not boiled – for a long time, become fork tender. Have in minde that the long, slow cook time leaves lean meat tough and chewy, while tougher cuts, like chuck, break down and become really tender. So, Greek reddened beef stew is the perfect way to go for less expensive, tougher cuts of beef.
Tips for making the best Greek reddened beef stew
No. 1: Less is more for the Greek reddened beef stew
Use just one spice as my mother did; allspice berries, whole. Allspice berries have a sweet flavor reminiscent of cloves, cinnamon and a hint of nutmeg. Even though its name suggests a mixture of spices, allspice is a single berry from the Jamaican bayberry tree. Its complex sweetness lends allspice a great deal of versatility that gives to reddened beef an outrageous delicious flavor.
No. 2: Greek reddened beef stew needs time
If you wanna make some Greek reddened beef stew have in mind that you will need approximately 1:45′ for cooking. It’s a very simple recipe but at the beggining you have to be very gentle and carefoul with the beef. You have to let the beef at room temperature at least for an hour and a half before cooking, wash it thoroughly and wipe the with some paper towel. It is important to dry the meat well, in order to be nicely browned.
After that you have to give it some extra attention during the procedure of browning. You have to brown the pieces of beef on one side without stirring, but gently by using a cooking clamp – not a fork – turn one by one.
Last but not least try not to overcrowd the bottom of the pan, the beef needs its space. If it is not possible to add all the pieces of the meat at once repeat the procedure of browning as many times as necessary, leaving half a minute between each batch to raise the oil temperature.
Ingredients for Greek reddened beef stew:
(serves 4 people)
- 1 kg of beef chuck meat
- 2 small red onions, chopped
- 2 carrots, shredded
- 400 gr whole peeled tomatoes peeled in tomato juice
- 250-300 gr juice of grated tomatoes
- 100ml olive oil (2/5 of a cup)
- 125 ml red wine
- 400 ml. beef broth, hot
- 4-5 allspice berries, whole
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 500g pasta, any kind (I used lumaconi rigati)
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- feta cheese to serve
Making the perfect Greek reddened beef stew
Before cooking, start by cutting the beef into pieces, approximately 100gr each one and let the meat at room temperature for at least one and half hour. Then, with kitchen paper, thoroughly dry all the pieces and leave them on paper to absorb all the fluids left.
Prepare your vegetables by finely chopping onion and carrot.
Heat a large, deep pot to high heat and add olive oil and leave it for 2-3 minutes in order to be heated well. Add the pieces of the beef one by one, without overcrowding. If it is not possible to add all the pieces of the meat at once, repeat the procedure of browning as many times as necessary, leaving half a minute between each batch to raise the oil temperature.
Brown the pieces of beef on one side, without stirring and then brown them on the other side. Every 1 minute, turn them one by one with a cooking clamp – not a fork. Once the pieces have been browned, remove them with a cooking clamp and set them aside.
In the same pan after lowering the temperature add the chopped onion and shredded carrot to sauté for 5 minutes until softened.
When the vegetables are ready, add all the sautéed meat back to the pot, raise the temperature, and after stirring them for 2-3 minutes add the wine. Allow them to boil with wine until it is reduced by 2/3, it will take about 10 minutes.
Then add the hot meat broth to the pot. Let the meat to boil the meat for about 20 minutes with an open the pot.
Add the chopped tomatoes, juice from grated tomatoes, the (dissolved in a teacup of warm water), the allspice berries, salt and freshly ground pepper.
After the sauce has boiled for 2-3 minutes, lower the heat and allow the meat to simmer for the next 35-45 minutes, until the meat is tender and the sauce thickens, stirring occasionally.
Have in mind that if the meat is tender and cooked, but the sauce is not thick enough, remove the pieces of meat and boil the sauce alone to high heat, until it thickens. While, if the sauce becomes thick, before the meat is done, then add some warm water.
When done, boil the pasta into another pot, according to package instructions and drain.
Place your pasta on a big plate along with the Greek reddened beef stew and serve immediately with some feta cheese. You can pair your meal with a glass of red wine.
Remember that Greek reddened beef stew can be served with pasta, fried potatoes, mashed potatoes, rice or with orzo pasta as a yuveci. There are so many combinations.
I hope to like my post and to share your thoughts and suggestions!
P.S.: Happy New Year!