Welcome to Greece’s official Sunday meal!
It’s one of these dishes that just don’t taste the same in the restaurant. Because you’re so much used to the home-made version, that special taste your palate is used to for years, with the proper amount of spices and the richness of the sauce…Nevertheless, all that’s needed is a bit of care, a bit of love…and everybody can prepare the dish that means “Sunday lunch” all over Greece.
1,5 kgr of veal (brisket or tail), tied up with string
2 large red onions, grated
5 garlic cloves, cut in half
1 cinnamon stick
1 level teaspoon all-spice powder
100 ml dry red wine
1 kgr fresh tomatoes, grated (or substitute tinned ones)
2 tablespoons tomato paste, diluted in ¼ cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
Salt & pepper
1 kgr long tubular-shaped pasta (ziti) or substitute linguine, penne or rigatoni
50 gr butter
½ cup olive oil
With a sharp knife, carve a few slits on the veal surface and insert the garlic cloves, together with some salt and pepper. In a large pot sauté the veal in the olive oil over a high heat until golden brown on all sides. Turn heat to medium and add the onions, stir for a few minutes and add the wine, scraping off any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. When most of the wine has evaporated, add the tomatoes and tomato paste, sugar, spices and seasoning. Close the lid and turn heat to low. Let simmer until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened (approx. 2 hours).
Before serving, add the pasta in a pot of salted boiling water and cook according to the directions on the packaging. Strain the pasta in a colander and place the butter in the pot over the fire until it melts, add the pasta and stir well.
To serve, remove the meat from the pot, remove the strings and carve the meat in slices with a serrated knife. Place the pasta on a serving platter with the veal slices and some sauce on top. Serve any extra sauce in a sauceboat. Traditionally, this dish is accompanied by grated myzithra (dry white cheese made of goat’s and ewe’s milk) but you can use parmesan or any cheese you like.
Kali orexi! Bon Apetit!