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Beef giouvetsi

1/2 kg sirloin of beef or rib-eye, cut into pieces
250gr thick kritharaki (orzo) (alternatively Gnocchetti pasta)
2 teaspoons of tomato paste
5 sun-dried tomatoes without oil
1 can crushed tomatoes or grated fresh tomatoes
4 tablespoons of diced onion
1 teaspoon of garlic paste
2 carrots cut into rounds of about 3cm
2 finely cut sprigs of celery
1 leek cut into rounds of about 3cm
1 tablespoon of jarred capers (rinsed well of their brine)
½ cup of Salvation olive oil
½ cup of white wine
1 tablespoon of honey
A little fresh Marjoram (if possible)
Fresh Savory or Thyme (dried if necessary)
A little fresh Basil (optional)
White peppercorns

Pour 4 tablespoons of olive oil into the sauce pan, heat over medium to strong heat and brown the meat on all sides so that it seals in all its juices. Take the meat out of the pan and keep it warm. Keep half of the olive oil that is left in the pan. Add the onion, garlic paste, carrot, celery and leek and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the tomato paste, scrape the bottom of the pan with a suitable spoon and go on to add the meat, capers and sun-dried tomatoes. When they come to the boil, add the wine and wait a little until the alcohol evaporates. Add the herbs, tomatoes, salt and pepper and 1½ – 2 litres of hot water. Simmer for 1½ hours, checking regularly to see if more warm water needs to be added. When the meat is tender (about 10 minutes before the end of cooking time) add the honey. Put the rest of the olive oil into a frying pan and over a low heat keep stirring the pasta that has been put into it, making sure that it doesn’t burn. Put the pasta, meat and whatever else is in the pan in which they were cooked (apart from the stalks of the herbs), into a heat-resistant glass or clay dish of the right size, with a little salt and pepper, 3-4 sprigs of thyme (if desired) and enough hot water to cover the food, three finger widths above the pasta. Bake in an oven preheated to 200οC, turn the heat down to 180οC and bake for half an hour to 40 minutes (if Gnoccheti has been used, the time needed should be reduced by about half or more). Every 15 minutes check to see if more hot water needs to be added, so that the finished dish is not too dry and the pasta is properly cooked.


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