Kokinisto means ‘made red’ – cooked in red (tomato) sauce. It is a Greek classic and a childhood favourite. The slow cooking tenderises the meat until it is meltingly soft and the rich sauce is fragrant with cinnamon and cloves.
This dish is served with anything from fries to pasta, but I usually prefer to serve it with a buttery mash and green beans or wilted spinach. As with most stews this tastes even better the day after it’s made so do yourselves a favour and make extra!
Don’t bother using good red wine unless you have some leftover – cheap cooking wine will do the job just as well and you can replace with white wine if you prefer. You can use any cheap cut of meat here, such as casserole or braising steak, but don’t go for anything too lean. You can cook chicken, lamb or pork in the same way, but I much prefer beef.
500g | 1 -1 1/2 lb beef – I used skirt (flank) steak
4 large beefsteak tomatoes, peeled and seeds removed
or 1 x 400g | 14oz can chopped tomatoes
2 red onions, roughly chopped
3 garlic gloves, crushed
3-4 tbsp tomato paste
1-2 tbsp olive oil
500ml | just over 2 cups beef stock
240ml | 1 cup red wine
2 bay leaves
1 large cinnamon stick or 2-3 tsp ground cinnamon
3-4 whole cloves or 1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsbp granulated sugar
Chopped flat leaf parsley to serve
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Cut the meat into large cubes. Heat the olive oil in a large pot and fry the meat so it browns evenly. Take the beef out, lower the heat, and add the chopped onions, crushed garlic and sugar. Fry for about five minutes until softened.
Return the beef to the pot and add the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaves, cinnamon and cloves. Season with salt and pepper. Stir together and then add the stock and red wine. Bring to the boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for about 1 1/2- 2 hours stirring occasionally. Add more hot water if the sauce is too thick.
If you wish to cook this in a slow cooker, brown the meat and sauté the onion and garlic then add all the ingredients to the slow cooker pot and cook for 5 hours on high. I usually prefer to cook this on the stove as I can control the amount of liquid better.