I found this in an old book of Greek recipes, but when I researched it online, I found many variants. It is one of many Greek recipes that originated further east, and there are dishes by the same name in Iran and Turkey.
All of the recipes have in common a stew that is served with rice. I made it the way suggested in my book, with a bit more detail about how to add the rice. The quantities are quite large: once the rice is added this will serve around 10 people.
- 1 kg stewing steak, cut into small pieces, around the size of the last joint of your thumb
- 50g butter
- 2 finely sliced onions
- 1 can of chopped tomatoes
- 1 wine-glass of vermouth (I used Noilly Prat)
- 500ml hot water
- 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
- A pinch of cinnamon
- salt and pepper.
- 500g basmati rice
- Sliced carrots, optional extra.
- In a heavy pan, melt the butter and add the sliced onions. Cook the onions slowly so they soften and begin to colour.
- Add the tomatoes, cinnamon, sugar and season with salt and pepper.
- Add the pieces of meat and add to the pan with the water, bring to a simmer and cook very slowly for a couple of hours.
- Add the vermouth and set to one side.
- Wash the rice in cold water then boil it in salted water for six minutes. Drain the rice and rinse through with cold water. If you are adding carrots, they can be chopped and cooked with the rice.
- Put half the rice in the bottom of a casserole dish. Then add the stew, then the rest of the rice (you can do multiple layers like this, ending with a rice layer).
- Put the casserole pan into the oven at around 130C and bake for an hour.
If you don’t want to cook it straight away, you can freeze the stew in portions. I allowed 100g of stew to 50g of rice to good effect.