Dinner Dish: Greek Cooking Class - Chef Katerina's Hare Stifado Recipe & Story
Our Greek cooking classes, like many of our offerings, aren't just about making food. They're also about discovering the origins of recipes and the history of the region. Here, Chef Katerina of our Greek culinary vacations talks about her own family's traditions with a very special dish: hare stifado.
"My grandfather was born on the island of Siros around 1900, we are not sure exactly when. Αt that time, Greece was different from what it is today. His father lived first in Crete and from there moved to Siros Ermoupoli. When his parents died from the plague he and his brother and sister [the only survivors from 7 children] were taken by their aunt Theano to Trizinia. Trizinia is one of the most beautiful villages in the area near Poros and is the oldest village as far as we know. Trizinia was famous in Mycenaean times and an ally of the Athenian alliances!
My grandfather had his own litrivi (olive oil press) and his own Myllos (mill) and orange and lemon trees. He also made his own wine that he would sell at histaverna, the only one in the village at the time. My grandfather Spiros was a great cook! But he enjoyed cooking dishes that were very special, mostly dishes that were a delicacy that he would enjoy with his friends who came to drink a glass of wine at the taverna. At the time he would sell his wine but he had to include a meze (small dish) with it for free. Rabbit or hare was one of those very special dishes!
He would prepare it and put it into a terra cotta cooking, pot which he would then seal with a dough of flour water and salt . He would then cook it over the cinders of his fire for 4 hours."
Obviously it’s very difficult to replicate this exact recipe but Katerina has adapted it for you to try. (Note: it is also one you can learn more about during a Greek cooking class!)
1 hare cut into portions
1 ltr of red dry wine (we use Agiorgitiko from our area)
1 cup of oil
1 & 1/2 kg small onions - shallots
2 large onions dry
A little flour
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 heaping tablespoon of tomato paste
1 teaspoon sugar
A little thyme
½ teaspoon cumin powder
1 stick of cinnamon
3 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic
Freshly ground pepper
2 grains all spice
1. Cut the hare into portions and then wash and wipe dry. Place the hare in a clay or glass container along with cloves, bay leaf, sliced onions, thyme, coarse salt, purified garlic, peppercorns, and allspice.
2. Cover the meat with wine. Leave to marinate for at least 12 hours in the fridge.
3. Remove the hare pieces from the marinade, wipe off well, and lightly brown these in oil.
4. Remove the pieces of meat from the pan and in the same oil add the whole onions to fry.
5.When the onions are transparent take them out of the pan and return the meat to the pot and add the tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, a glass of wine from what we used in the marinade, cloves of garlic, salt, pepper, and all the other spices.
6. Allow the meat to simmer on a low heat for at least 3 hours - do not add any more liquid.
7. During the final cooking stage do not stir this but shake the pan from side to side with caution.
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Our culinary vacation "Greek Cooking Odyssey" includes all meals, four hands-on cookery lessons, and guided visits and trips, such as to the island of Hydra.
By Liz Hall
"Dinner dish" is a blog series, where The International Kitchen discusses recipes and the history of particular regional foods. Have a food you want to learn more about? Contact us today.
Other dinner dish blog posts
Italy (Sicily): Marsala Wine
Italy (Veneto): Risotto
Greece: Ladolemono Sauce
Italy (Lucca): Tortelli Lucchese
Italy (Puglia): Ran-Away Fish Soup