Hello culinary lovers! In this article, I will present you with one of our old family recipes – Wine Kebab. Learned from our grandmothers, passed through two generations into a third, and naturally adapted and improved to modern days and available products.
Before I start, let me just clarify something. When we describe our home recipes, we show you our actual daily reality. We don’t simply present a demo recipe that will produce a testing sample of either 2 or 4 servings at best. No, what we do instead is to tell you how we would cook it for our family of 4 adults, and the quantity we aim for is between 8 to 12 servings. This way, we can ensure we have the amount of homemade food for at least two dinners, and a portion for each one to take at work.
Now enough about us, our way of thinking when preparing a meal, why we choose to cook in, what would be considered, bulk. Following, you will find a step-by-step recipe, with a detailed explanation, and many tips & tricks, allowing anyone to deliver this meal successfully and treat themselves and their loved ones.
Of course, feel free to reduce the quantity of the ingredients by either 1/2, 1/3, or 1/4, so the amount of cooked food can meet your needs based on the number of servings that will suits you best.
How we cook Wine Kebab Stew
Prepare the meat
First, I wash the meat very well. I then dry it from the water using either kitchen paper or let it sit in a strainer while preparing the rest of the ingredients. Next, I chop the beef into small pieces the size of a bite. In a large cooking pot, I add ½ a cup of sunflower oil, heat it, and then fry the meat in it. I stir it several times and fry it until it browns nicely and looks ready to be eaten. I then set it on the side and will get back to it at a later stage.
Stew the onion
I add the diced onion in the same oil and leave it on the cooker until it becomes almost transparent (or, as some call it, glass). This is the moment when the onion is stewed, slightly softened, has lost its heavy smell and is ready to give its delicious taste to the meal.
Add the flour
I add the flour, stirring it almost constantly so that it does not burn or stick. I fry it for a minute or two until it changes its colour a bit and gets the pleasant aroma of fried flour.
Add the paprika
Once the flour is fried, I add the paprika, which I am cautious with. It must be stirred constantly. It gets ready very quickly when fried. It takes about 30-40 seconds to fry, and if fried for longer, it gets a bitter taste and a strong smell of burnt.
To avoid burning the paprika, I have a jug with water in immediate reach. Once I’ve fried the pepper for about 30 seconds, I then add the water. It should be cold.
When frying flour and making it into a sauce, porridge, or adding water to fried flour for any reason, it should always be cold water. This is because if the flour is hot and you add boiling water, to combine the two, they must be stirred very quickly as if a mixer is used. Otherwise, it forms firm chunks, little flour balls, which would not dissolve. While, when using cold water with a simple stir, the mixture becomes homogeneous mash, which then needs to be stirred occasionally until it’s brought to a simmer.
I’m adding between 2,5 & 3 litres of water for this amount and stirring it.
Add the fried meat
I add the fried meat back to the pod and the spices (bay leaf, allspice whole, and black peppercorns). Once added, I close the pod with the lid until it comes back to a simmer. In the meantime, I’d occasionally lift the lid and stir the ingredients to avoid them sticking to the bottom of the pot and burning until it gets back to a simmer. And I watch out not to boil, and when the stew is back to a simmer, I reduce the strength of the heat.
Let it cook over low heat
Once it’s been cooking for about 30 minutes, I take a piece of meat on a side plate and test how well it’s cooked by checking it with a fork.
It is easy to see if the meat is cooked well. Even somebody who has never cooked meat can tell how well-cooked meat feels when picked with a fork. It should be tender, and you can see it is ready to split into fibers. If the meat is not completely ready when pierced, we find it difficult to pierce it with a fork, it is tough, and sometimes it feels like a silicone object that tries to escape the pressure of the cutlery.
Once the meal is cooked, I then add the salt (I don’t add any before this, as otherwise, it can result in the meat not cooking well and remaining chewy.)
Add carrots and garlic cloves
Next, I add the chopped into chunk pieces carrot and the garlic cloves.
Add the wine and the tomatoes
Once the stew had summit for a few minutes after adding the salt, add a cup of wine and the chopped tomatoes. I add them toward the end due to their higher acid concentration, which would deter the vegetables and the meat from cooking well and make them remain chewy.
Let it summit for another few minutes
The carrots and the garlic cloves quickly become almost fully cooked after I’ve allowed them to cook for a few minutes. Once I add the wine and the chopped tomatoes to the stew, the natural acidity on those two ingredients preserves the carrots and the garlic cloves from overboiling and dissolving into a mash.
Taste it and adjust it
A few minutes after adding the last ingredient, take a small serving from the stew on a small plate, making sure I have a piece of each ingredient and a spoon of the stew gravy. With cutlery, test the firmness of the ingredients making sure all products are tender, and they’ve softened up nicely. Taste it to salt, and if needed, add some. When happy with the taste, turn the cooker off. The meal is ready.
Serve it with a side of choice
To prepare the perfect portion, I’d choose a side to add that could be either rice or mashed potatoes. In our family, we prefer having the wine kebab with rice, and we use brown rice, which doesn’t contain starch and is a good fit for our starch-free diet.
- 800 gr to 1 kg of beef (lean)
- 6-7 medium-sized onions
- 3-4 medium-sized carrots
- 10-15 cloves garlic
- 400-450 gr of chopped tomatoes (canned or fresh)
- 1 cup of red wine (for the meal and one for you until you cook it ;-))
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 2 or 2 and 1/2 tbsp flour (I’m using millet flour)
- 1 tbsp paprika (overfull)
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 3-4 whole allspice grains
- 15-20 peppercorn grains