Beef Pastitsada

Italians aren’t the only ones who like to use tomatoes in their cooking – the Greeks do too!

Those of you who grow your own vegetables know what kind of problems harvesting season brings. No doubt it is a nice problem to have but how exactly do you eat 10kg of courgettes or tomatoes in one week? You might have selfishly succeeded in the first week but come week two and you have given up the fight or even worse you can’t stand the sight of them anymore.

Sure, you can give bags and bags to your neighbours, friends and family, but you know you are in trouble when they stop returning your calls or don’t answer their front doors with the fear that you will unload even more produce onto them. What to do? What to do?

When we reached that stage last year with our tomatoes we decided to experiment by freezing them. It worked a charm. Slowly but surely we worked our way through the batches when winter set in but then we sat with another snag. A person can only eat so much tomato sauce or Bolognese before feeling fed up. Luckily I found this lovely Greek recipe that uses tonnes of tomatoes in one go.

Adapted from Waitrose.

Download and/or print the recipe! Click HERE.

Beef Pastitsada
Serves 4
Preparation: 10 mins – Cooking Time: 25 mins
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) olive oil
  • 800g (1¾ lbs) beef braising steak
  • 12 shallots, peeled
  • 10ml (2 tsp) ground allspice
  • 250ml (1 cup) red wine
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes or 800g (1¾ lbs) fresh tomatoes, peeled and seeded
  • 300ml (½ pint) beef stock
  • 15ml (1 tbsp) sugar [optional]
  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C/fan 130°C/300°F/gas mark 2.
  2. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof dish over a high heat. Add a third of the beef and cook for 5 minutes until well browned. Set aside on a plate and repeat to brown the remaining meat.
  3. Add the shallots to the pan. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes or until just starting to colour.
  4. Return the beef to the pan and add the remaining ingredients. Mix well, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any caramelized bits of meat from the base of the pan.
  5. Cover with a lid and place in the oven. Cook for 3½ hours or until rich and thick. Season to taste.
Serving Suggestion
  • Serve with rice of lashings of creamy mash, plus seasonal green vegetables.

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  1. Miriam says

    Sounds delicious, I will definitely use later in the year when I’m over-run with the juicy red things!!
    My tip for those endless courgettes (or zucchini as we call them in Canada:>) is to shave them into ribbons with a quick peeler, lightly fry them in butter, and dress them in home made pesto, (thus using up some of the basil that is inevitably overtaking my garden) Really nice side dish for almost anything.

  2. Audra St Peter says

    I just finished eating this very meal you gave me the opportunity to prepare. I used short ribs as I didn’t know what braising steaks were nor did my butcher, so that’s what we came up with. I was very skeptical of the allspice as I haven’t used it in meat dishes. What can I say? Thank you. It was absolutely delicious and rich with flavor. Now I have myself a standby when I want to try to impress somebody with my cooking prowess. Thanks again.

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