Braised Beef Pieces With Okra In A Tomato Sauce...

Ok today is Saint Stylianos day. So basically it is my name day because my actual Christian name is Stylianos, Stelio! (when somebody is calling me from far), or Stelios (when somebody is talking about me to somebody else), or Stelara (when I accomplish something good).  Saint Stylianos is the Patron Saint of children. His job is to protect children. I could not protect my younger daughter, but that 's another story. So...  I promised my wife and only daughter, now, I would braise some beef piece in a special mixture of spices all bathed in wine and tomato sauce over a plain white rice,  which I will tell you if you feel like reading more......
You will need for 3 - 4 persons,
-  700 gr of beef for braising cut in small pieces.
-  2 Tbsp. plain flour.
-  3 bay leaves.
-  1 tsp. oregano.
-  1 tsp. sage.
-  1 tsp. cayenne.
-  1 pinch (three fingers) of that mixture that was prepared to spice up your living room.
-  4 cloves of garlic very thinly sliced.
-  1 small onion very thinly sliced.
-  ½ cup sweetish red whine.
-  Salt and freshly ground black pepper.
-  250 gr tomato sauce already prepared a few days ago from the freezer.
-  250 gr of grated tomatoes with their juice. (or 500 gr if you don't have already prepared sauce).
-  500 gr thawed okra. 
-  1 Tbsp. Chili powder (the one used for chili con carne).
-  ½ cup olive oil.
-  1 tsp. brown sugar.
-  Coat each peace of beef with flour.
-  Heat olive oil in a large deep skillet on high heat.
-  Add bay leaves, oregano, sage, cayenne, spice mix to the hot oil and saute for about 1 minute.
-  Add onion and stir-fry till soft.
-  Add garlic and stir-fry for about ½ minute.
-  Add beef pieces and brown on all sides.
-  Add salt and freshly ground pepper.
-  Add wine, bring to a boil, reduce heat to minimum, cover and let simmer for 1½ hours.
-  Check for liquids giving a stir every now and then to get a uniform cooking and no sticking on bottom.
-  Let ½ hour pass by then add the tomato sauces, mix and stir, add the sugar, mix and stir.
-  Let simmer and ½ hour later, that is ½ hour before the end of cooking time, add the thawed okra.
-  When time is up taste and check for tenderness of the meat. It should be ready otherwise give it another ½ an hour.
-  When ready add the chili powder give it a simmer for another 5 minutes and turn off the heat.
-  In the meantime your rice will be ready.
Serve the beef with the okra and sauce, and the white rice on the side on the same plate.
Enjoy this exquisite Levantine meal. (See Levant)



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