Monday, 22 July 2013


Another of my Greek favourites!  We used to order this lovely stew in Corfu, and I have some very happy memories of that holiday so I had to recreate it at home. 

This is another simple assembly job on these hot summer days. 
If weather is more favourable to standing at the hob then by all means brown the shallots and beef before continuing.  

For two of us I used : 

1 ½ lb diced casserole beef
7 or 8 medium shallots
4 large cloves of garlic
1tb olive oil
1 generous sprig of rosemary, and the same of fresh oregano or marjoram
2 bay leaves
1 x 450g tin chopped plum tomatoes
1tb tomato puree
½ bottle of red wine
Salt and pepper to taste 

Simply add the olive oil to a medium casserole, peel the shallots and garlic cloves and add whole to the pan, add the diced beef and chopped herbs.  Give everything a stir and then add the tomatoes, tomato puree and red wine, season to taste and pop a lid on the pan. 

Pop into the oven and leave to cook quietly.  I cooked mine at 150oC / 275 o F / gas mark 2 for 3 hours.
Serve with chips (French fries) or sauté potatoes,with a Greek salad on the side.  Some crusty bread for mopping up the lovely sauce wouldn’t go amiss either!
* if you have some black olives to hand, a few of those added before cooking makes a nice addition too.


Sunday, 21 July 2013


Continuing the Greek theme, and because it’s simply too hot to be cooking at the moment I thought I’d share this little beauty with you. 

It does need two and a half hours in the oven, but you aren’t required to spend any time at the hob before it goes in!  This is nothing more than an assembly job. 

The recipe given below will serve two, with lots of crusty bread on the side, but you can very easily adjust the quantities to serve more.  You could replace the diced lamb with lamb chops, lamb steaks, lamb shanks or even a whole leg or shoulder depending on the numbers you want to feed.  It’s perfect one pot cooking and will happily cook away quietly leaving you to enjoy the sunshine and the company! 

For two of us I used : 

1tb diced lamb
8 baby new potatoes (two large ones would do too)
4 cloves of garlic
Sprigs of mint, marjoram and rosemary
¼ pint of lamb stock
½ lemon

Salt and pepper to taste
1tb olive oil

In a medium casserole add the olive oil, lamb, baby potatoes and whole peeled garlic cloves.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Either finely chop the rosemary and mint or, pop the large mint leaves and rosemary in a muslin square and tie into a little package.  Bruise the little parcel before adding it to the pan if you do this.  Add the leaves of marjoram and the small mint leaves. 

Halve the lemon and gently squeeze some of the juice from one half over the meat mixture, quarter it and add to the casserole.  Pour over the stock and stir well to combine. 

Cover with a lid and pop into the oven and leave to cook quietly until the lamb is cooked and falling apart.  I cooked mine at 150oC / 275 o F / gas mark 2 for 2 ½ hours, uncovering for the last half an hour.
note : the lemon flavour is quite strong so omit the quarters if you prefer a less lemony flavour.  There will be pips in the finished dish, so take care when eating.

Saturday, 20 July 2013


The recent hot spell, and swim in the sea has reminded me of happy holidays taken in the Med many years ago (when weather like this was commonplace!); and in particular two very happy holidays spent in Greece.  Sidari in Corfu, and Hanioti in Halkidiki specifically! 

For lunch we would take off for the shops and pick up a loaf of fresh bread, a lump of Feta cheese and a big pot of tzatziki.  The four of us would then tear into the bread and cheese and slather it with tzatziki. 

For a recent beach visit I couldn’t resist whipping up a batch of tzatziki for our picnic! 

For two to four people : 

200g Greek yoghurt (I like Total best)
2tb  extra virgin olive oil
1tsp white wine vinegar
2 cloves of garlic, very finely chopped
1” of cucumber, deseeded and diced small
Generous sprig of mint, chopped
Black pepper to taste 

This really couldn’t be simpler, simply whisk the oil and vinegar into the yoghurt, season to taste with black pepper, add the garlic, cucumber, mint and stir well together.  Set aside for half an hour or so for the flavours to develop. 

Serve with warm crusty bread for dipping, and feta cheese on the side. 

Best enjoyed in glorious sunshine, with maybe a bottle of Retsina on the side!