Beef stew with quince, one of the most heartwarming winter stews. An old recipe from Smyrna, perfect with a side of fluffy, buttery rice.
There are some foods that are downright unphotogenic. They are embellished with the occasional fresh herb, be it parsley or chives. This beef stew with quince is a prime example. Deep red sauce, thick and wonderful to mop up but it reduces everything to a uniform plate of deep orange-red. Do not be deceived this is one of the nicest beef stews you will ever try.
I love cooking with quince. Although the most common recipe for it is the quince spoon sweet, kidoni gliko, there are many ways to use this fruit in your cooking. My most beloved Xmas recipe is stuffed quince, normally it will come as a side along many dishes on the festive table. But this one my friends can take center stage.
It’s perfect with a side of rice or crushed new potatoes. Again this one comes with the endorsement of my Smyrnan grand-ma Dina. She would use it any chance she got. It is not your mainstream festive dish, but it is certainly a winner.
Beef stew with quince
- 500 gr beef for casserole
- 2 quinces
- 2 onions
- 2 tbspn sugar
- 2 tbspn tomato paste
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 tbspn olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cut the beef in medium sized chunks.
- Rinse and cut the quince in thick slices, removing the hard core.
- In a shallow pot, heat up the olive oil and sautee the onions for 4-5 minutes. Remove from the fire and set aside.
- Sautee the quince slices for a few minutes and again remove from the pot and set aside.
- Top up with a bit of olive oil if you need, add the beef to seal.
- Return the onions on the pot with the beef and add the spices.
- It’s time for the wine to deglaze. Follow in with the tomato paste, diluted in a cup of warm water. season with salt and pepper and cover with lid. It needs 40-45 minutes on low to medium heat.
- Return to check the meat, it should be almost done by now. Add the sautee quince slices, the sugar and just a bit of warm water if the sauce looks dry.
- Continue cooking for 8-10 minutes until the sauce is set.
- Serve with buttered, fluffy rice.
The best thing about it is that the flavours bind together the more you leave it, so you can easily make it a day ahead and reheat to serve.
Enjoy in good company!
from London with love,