This classic beef stew with tomato sauce is usually served with pasta or fried potatoes. However, in hot weather there are many tasty seasonal vegetables that can take the place of pasta and fried potatoes making a lighter dish with a summer touch.
The stew can be made with beef or with any other meat or poultry. Zucchinis, eggplants, sweet peppers and potatoes( or carrots) are the most popular summer vegetables chosen for this dish.
We usually serve kokkinisto with graviera cheese as a side dish. It is a lightly salted yellow hard cheese with a sweet aftertaste. If you can't find graviera, then gruyere could be a good choice.
1kg fillet of beef, top loin or sirloin
150gr olive oil
300gr chopped ripe tomatoes
1 Tsp tomato paste (optional)
1 Tsp sugar
1 medium onion, chopped
1-2 garlic cloves chopped
1 cinnamon stick
Salt and pepper to taste
1 litre hot water
2 small zucchinis
1 medium eggplant
1-2 sweet red peppers
1 medium potato (or 2 carrots)
150gr vegetable oil to fry the vegetables
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the meat in batches, cooking until just browned, - about 2 minutes. Remove meat to a plate and in the same skillet cook the onion, stirring until it is softened (about 3 minutes). Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, spices, garlic and water and simmer for 5 minutes. Put the meat back in the skillet with the tomato sauce, cover and cook for about 50 min or until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened. If needed, add more water and cook some more.
Meanwhile, on a cutting board, cut the vegetables in bite size cubes and, in batches starting from potatoes, fry them lightly and place them on kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil.
When the meat has almost cooked, about 50min, add the fried vegetables to the pot with the meat stew and cook for 10-15min more or until the vegetables are done.