Venison Kokinisto with Home Fries

Kokinisto is the word for red sauce, not necessarily a tomato pasta sauce but tomato based aromatic gravy. My best memory of this sauce was when my mom worked at a Greek restaurant in downtown Windsor where the sauce was put on top of potatoes or fries in place of gravy or ketchup. Deer hunting season has just finished in some parts of eastern Ontario and I was given some good cuts from my dads old hunting buddies. You could substitute any red meat (lamb, veal, beef) in this dish even pork will work.

Ingredients:

2 lb. venison cut into 1″ stewing pieces
1 large can stewing or crushed tomatoes
4 cloves
Pinch ground cinnamon
Pinch turmeric
Pinch sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 rib celery
1 large carrot
1 onion
10 cloves garlic
Couple sprigs fresh parsley chopped
1 cup dry white wine
Pinch sea salt
Pinch ground black pepper

For the Potatoes

8-10 potatoes cut into French fries
Good pinch of sea salt
Ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
3 tbsp olive oil

Take the celery, carrot, onion, garlic and spin in a food processor until finely chopped and blended together and set aside. Season the meat with salt and pepper and a bit of olive oil. Sear on an grill top for about 2-3 min per side, or in a wok over high heat but don’t overcrowd, work in batches as you will not get good grill marks if meat is crowded. Set aside meat as it gets seared on each side. Prepare a Dutch oven or corning-ware on medium high heat with a bit of olive oil, toss in the chopped up veggies from the processor. Cook for a few minutes just until you see the onion, celery, carrot and garlic begin to caramelize, add the stewed tomatoes, cloves, cinnamon, turmeric, sugar, salt, pepper and the seared meat. Deglaze the grill top or wok with the white wine or just add the wine to the stew and water if necessary in order to cover the meat completely with liquid. Cover Dutch oven and simmer for at least one hour. If sauce gets too thick add more water, it should not end up too thick it really need to have a gravy like consistency.

Prepare potatoes

Preheat oven to 400*
In a bowl toss cut potatoes with the salt, pepper, olive oil and turmeric, make sure they are all well coated toss them all in one layer on a cookie sheet and cook in oven for about 25 minutes until golden crispy.

When meat is ready, taste the sauce and adjust seasoning if needed. When potatoes are ready serve as a side dish and spoon kokinisto (red sauce) from meat on top of fries. Serve with crusty bread and salad. You could use a crock pot to make the meat, this could be a main or and appetizer for a party etc.

I would serve this dish with either a white or red wine. Riesling or Pinot noir or most red wines will go well.

Enjoy and happy new year

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Beef in aromatic tomato sauce on pasta

The spices in this sauce have influences from the Middle East. Beef is what I used but any red meat will work great especially lamb. Again the pasta that’s used here is fusilli but I have used large shells and rigatoni with success.

1lb sirloin steak cut across the grain
Large can crushed tomatoes in sauce
1 small onion diced
5-6 cloves of garlic minced
1 rib celery diced
10 cremini mushrooms sliced
1/2 tsp allspice powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Pinch sugar
1 tsp dried oregano
Sea salt
Olive oil
Tbsp butter
450 gr. fusilli or any other pasta
Small handful Italian parsley chopped
Grated pecorino cheese

Instructions

Put sliced meat in a bowl and mix in half the garlic, allspice, cinnamon and cayenne and a couple glugs of olive oil. Allow beef to marinade at room temperature for 30 minutes. In a large pot heat up some olive oil at medium high heat and sauté the meat for two minutes stirring continuously. Add in onions, mushrooms, celery and remaining garlic and continue to cook for about 5 more minutes. Stir in the can of tomatoes and turn up the heat and add a pinch of salt, sugar and oregano. As soon as sauce comes to a boil, turn down the heat to low, cover pot and cook to 30 minutes.

For the pasta bring large pot of water to a boil with plenty dose of sea salt, when water comes to a tolling boil toss in the pasta and stir occasionally while cooking according to package directions until pasta is al dente.

Drain pasta but do not rinse, add the drained pasta back to the pot and turn heat back on to low, add the butter, couple tablespoons olive oil and sauté the noodles for 30 seconds with the butter and oil. I love to add some cheese right into the pot now mixing the pasta and turn off the heat. The noodles should be coated well with the buttery cheese.

To serve plate each bowl of pasta, topped with meat sauce and sprinkled with parsley and more cheese.

Can be served with baguette or garlic bread.

I recommend a dry red wine; Shiraz or Agiorgitiko.

Enjoy and please comment

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