Osobuko, the perfect cut of beef for a no-fuss, delicious Sunday dinner. Minimal effort is required as it only needs time, care and quality ingredients. I have used a free-range beef shank, cut into slices of about 4 cm. This thickness allows it to keep …
This braised beef with zucchini (or courgettes if you prefer) is a classic Greek summer dish. By early summer, the farmers’ market stalls are filled with bright green zucchini and sun blushed tomatoes, perfect for this delicious casserole. As my grandmother used to make it, …
In the midst of this constant barrage of information on modern nutrition, the value of vegetables remains constant and undeniable. In the traditional Mediterranean diet, we very often see imaginative combinations of vegetables with (sometimes only a little) meat or fish, depending on the season and the local cuisine. I think it’s the lack of time that has taken us away from this tradition. The result is to limit our sides to the classic starches such as rice, potatoes and pasta. They last long and cook fast, but as we rely on them every day, we forget that so many other options are available.
I really believe that variety ensures nourishment. On the other hand, especially midweek, I really really don’t want to have any extra pots to deal with. So I try to incorporate as many vegetables as I can, into our main meal. Combined it with a raw salad, I can be pretty sure we’re covering our daily requirements. I use the variety of colors as a guide to ensure the variety of nutrients on our plate. So I will combine this green-dominated dish with a colourful salad with white and red cabbage, carrot and pepper.
2 tbsp ghee or olive oil
1 kg free range beef, cut into chunks
1 onion, finely chopped
2 leeks, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
750 ml approx broth or water, heated
2 tsp coriander, crushed
Juice and grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 broccoli, divided into florets
Salt and pepper
Heat a heavy bottomed pan well. Dry the meat well and lightly season. Add the oil to the pan and saute the meat from on sides in batches. Keep the meat aside and add the onion and leek to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic with the coriander and immediately after that, add the meat. Stir well and add enough hot broth, so that it almost covers the meat. Lower the heat and let it simmer until the meat is done, about 1 hour. Check in between, in case you need to add a little hot broth or water.
Peel the main stem of the broccoli and cut it into slices. Stir the mustard into the lemon juice until it dissolves well. Once the meat is done, add the lemon with the mustard and the broccoli stem and stir well. Arrange the broccoli florets over the meat so that they cook in the steam of the sauce. Cover and let the broccoli steam for 10 minutes until cooked through. Adjust the seasoning and serve warm with the lemon zest.
It’s funny how borlotti or cranberry beans also have two names in Greek: chandres (beads) or barbounia (red mullet, yes really). They are so beautiful that I almost feel sad when I see them lose their color cooked. Their slightly sweet and hearty tasty, quickly …
This is such a classic Greek summer recipe. Bringing wonderful aromas and nourishment in the same dish, combining the fresh tastes of green beans, lemon and herbs. The best way to prepare green beans is in good company. Casual conversation and plenty of helping hands, …
We are all true lasagne lovers in this house. Love the rich flavor, the soft, melting texture, the wonderful aroma as it is gently cooking away in the oven. A great dish for the young and old, even young toddlers, for any occasion.
What I like most about is being able to make it as a quick midweek meal, with a tiny bit of planning ahead. I almost always double the Bolognese recipe below and freeze half. Then just quickly make the Béchamel sauce while the oven preheats, put it together with the defrosted sauce and oven ready sheets, then pop it in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes. You could also freeze the Béchamel sauce but it only takes minutes to make so it never seemed like a huge time saver to me.
For the Bolognese sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
125 gr. button mushrooms, chopped
500 gr. minced beef
300 ml dry red or white wine OR 2 tbsps balsamic vinegar
300 ml homemade stock
500 gr. tomatoes, grated
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper
2 tbsp chopped parsley
In a large, wide pan sauté the onion, carrot and celery stick for 5′. Add the chopped mushrooms and cook for another minute. Then add the beef and brown over a high heat. Add the wine, then add the tomato paste, tomatoes, thyme and season. Simmer gently covered for an hour or until the sauce is reduced. Stir in the parsley.
For the Béchamel sauce
1 l milk
3 onion slices
2 bay leaves
4 tbsps butter
4 tbsps flour
Salt & pepper
Pour the milk into a saucepan with the onion slices, peppercorns and bay leaf. Bring almost to the boil, remove from heat and leave to infuse for about 20 minutes. Strain. For the roux, melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute until cooked but not coloured. Remove from the heat and gradually pour in the milk, whisking constantly. Season lightly. Return to the heat and cook stirring until the sauce is thickened and smooth. Simmer very gently for a couple of minutes.
For the Lasagne
12-15 sheets oven ready pasta sheets
3 tbsp of Parmesan cheese, grated
Preheat the oven. Spoon a third of the Bolognese sauce over the base of a greased flameproof dish. cover with a layer of pasta, then a layer of sauce. Repeat the layers twice more, finishing with a layer of of white sauce to cover the lasagne completely. Sprinkle over the Parmesan then bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling.