Noted cookbook author Tessa Kiros is the featured chef this month at I Heart Cooking Clubs. Unlike some of the other features, she doesn’t have a TV show or a website and for that reason there aren’t a wide range of recipes available on the web. Fortunately she has a devoted following of people willing to cook and blog her recipes. One that turned up on several websites was a Greek style pot roast (kokkinisto). The meat is braised in a sumptuous gravy of onions, tomatoes and wine until it is fork tender. It’s perfect for a Sunday supper.
Along with roasting a chicken, making a pot roast is an essential cooking skill for an omnivore, and the method Tessa Kiros uses in her kokkinisto can be adapted to cook on the stove, in the oven or slow cooker.
We bought our meat from one of the local butchers. There’s a market near us which dates back to the 19th Century. The current site has been renovated and houses about 40 vendors of produce, fish, meat, candies, pastries…plus a cafe/bar. We had the butcher cut a kilo of meat and Rick further trimmed it when we got home. For this meal he cut slices about an inch thick. The rest was wrapped up and put in the freezer.
I followed the recipe outlined by Kim at My Kentucky Home. Coincidentally, Kim cooks with I Heart Cooking Clubs and has cooked more than a few Tessa Kiros recipes. She braised her version in the oven but I did mine on top of the stove in a dutch oven. We served it over polenta. Other options include: rice, noodles, cauliflower “mash” and potatoes.
- 1½ pounds chuck roast (more or less) cut into 1" slices
- 1 large onion, peeled and cut into half moons
- ½ cup red wine or beef broth
- 1 large can crushed tomatoes (14 ounces)
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste (I used ketchup)
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons dried or couple sprigs fresh thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil
- Heat a tablespoon or so of olive oil in the bottom of a large dutch oven.
- Sear the beef slices until nicely browned on both sides. Remove to a plate, seasoning on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Add more oil to the dutch oven and saute the onions until they begin to change color.
- Pour in the wine and stir to scrape up any bits on the bottom of the pan. Continue to cook until the wine is reduced by half.
- Add the tomatoes, cinnamon, thyme and season with more salt and pepper.
- Stir in more water (I used the tomato can to measure) and return the meat and any juices that may have accumulated to the dutch oven. Nestle the meat down into the gravy.
- Put the lid on the dutch oven and reduce the heat. Cook for an hour or two, until the meat is fork tender. Give a stir every once in awhile and add more water as needed.
- Taste and adjust the seasonings before serving.
Don’t worry about the cinnamon: at half a teaspoon you’ll be able to smell it and detect the flavor, but it won’t take over the dish. It works, I promise!
Check out Tessa Kiros’s page on Amazon(affiliate link) if you’re interested in learning more about her food. You’re also invited to drop by I Heart Cooking Clubs for more Tessa Kiros recipes. I’m curious to see what the other bloggers have made.