This is a local recipe of the island of Cephalonia and it is one of my favorite recipes growing up. It is beef and potatoes braised in tomato, however the absence of onion and the prominent notes of garlic, cinnamon and cloves make this dish rather unique and difficult to resist second servings of it.
Sofigado from Cephalonia
- 2 lbs of beef chuck cut into portion size pieces.
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
- whole cloves as many as the pieces of meat
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 1-2 cups of hot water
- 1 lb russet of yukon gold potatoes
Season the meat with salt and pepper.
Using a pairing knife, poke each piece of the beef and insert a garlic sliver rolled in cinnamon.
Then, insert a clove to seal the opening.
In a heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil and brown the meat.
Add the tomato paste, a pinch of sugar (if needed to reduce the tartness of the tomatoes) and the hot water.
Bring to boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cover the pot and let the meat cook about three quarters.
Sprinkle the potato wedges with a couple of pinches of salt and pepper and add them to the meat.