Inspiration- Stifado!

Red onion slices

Red onion slices (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve not been feeling very inspired lately, mundane jobs have been on my agenda like decorating and gardening which are taking up a lot of my time. I find my brain just seems to switch off and focus on the job in hand at these times, which I suppose is a good thing. But doesn’t give me any food for thought when it comes to writing a blog on Cyprus! But inspiration came and the result is – Stifado

Of course always I have “Androula’s Kitchen- Cypus on a Plate” on my mind and trying to work out my next step towards getting in print. That never goes away in fact it goes around my head constantly buzzing like some persistent mosquito! I think I know exactly where I should go next and then a new bit of information comes my way and scuppers my plan so it’s onto the next idea. But it has been said by many wise people that determination wins the day so that helps me re-focus and move forward however slowly it may feel to me, every step I take is one step closer to success.

The gardening I mentioned has been mostly at the community garden to which I belong in our village. It has been quite a stressful growing season this year as we have had so much rain together with cold temperatures. I was tending quite a big plot of potatoes and onions and these took up a lot of my time it seemed, battling against the elements and disease. Surprisingly we still managed to get a fair old crop and now it’s potatoes and onions with everything.

Onions are a major part in cooking, so many dishes use onions as a base for flavour and they are good for you too. Onions are good for the prevention of heart disease and also act as an anti oxidant. We have also been growing garlic , which is of course the same family and the thing I found surprising is how sweet fresh garlic tastes. As we have had such wet weather some of the onions have suffered and needed to be eaten straight away as they would rot if stored. So it was a hunt for recipes that use onions. I have been making onion tarts which in fact are a bit like a pizza but with just caramelised onions, anchovies and olives on top. Delicious, but it’s really a French recipe and as this is a blog about Cypriot things I think a Cypriot recipe is in order.

There are several Cypriot recipes that use lots of onions, my favourite is Stifado which also uses potatoes so perfect for my  purposes at this time. Rosie, a friend of  Androula’s and a great cook, gave me this recipe and I use it a lot. Enjoy.

Stifado

Serves 4

1 rabbit or hare cut into pieces

500 g shallots whole or onions quartered ( usually the weight of onions is equal to the meat)

500 g potatoes (optional) peeled, quartered or left whole if small

1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

2 bay leaves

1 stick cinnamon

300 ml red wine

140 ml red wine vinegar

1 dessertspoon tomato puree, thinned with water or 284 ml passata ( sieved tomato)

salt

2 tablespoons olive oil for cooking

Fry the rabbit pieces in the oil until the meat turns golden then take out and put aside. Peel the shallots or onions, if using onions cut them into quarters but leave the shallots whole, peel and cut the potato if necessary and add to the juices in the pan, cook until the onions are soft. Put the meat back in the pan together with the peppercorns, salt, bay leaves, cinnamon, red wine and red wine vinegar together with the tomato juice or puree give everything a good stir. The liquid should cover the meat so add a little water if required. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then cover and leave to cook on a low heat or cook in a moderate oven gas mark 5/190C for 1½ to 2 hours until the meat falls from the bone and the juices are reduced.

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5 thoughts on “Inspiration- Stifado!

  1. Is there a pressure you feel for your blog to conform to certain ideas?
    Just share your life as it is, I find the community garden topic very interesting, for example. And what kind of redecorating are you doing? We’re interested!
    cheers,Sarah

    • oh thank you for the feedback Sarah. I just feel as the blog was started really as a reflection of the book I should stick to those topics. But I’m feeling more and more the need to expand so I will add a bit more thanks to your comments The decorating is fairly boring ,bathroom, living room and next the kitchen. All those little maintenance jobs I can see around the house. I like to tackle them when the light’s good in summer months.

      • Yes, I understand. I think that my art/your book, someone else’s music, are all intertwined with a tangible life of chores, choices, creative as well as less productive periods. And we tend to underestimate our own uniqueness.

        I think my blog is about sharing my particular life with anyone who is interested. Those are the blogs I like best. And early on, I caught myself thinking I had to perform to be noticed (well, that’s not just the blog is it?). So I guess I just wanted to share this with you. But if you want to keep your blog just about your book that’s would be fine too, wouldn’t it? Its totally up to you.

        Before and after decorating photos are fun, if you like. If not, have a nice time in all that light (do you live in England or Cyprus?)

      • Interesting comments thank you. Of course you are right. It is impossible to separate things out totally, as they are all coloured by each other and all part of the same life. I live in the south of the UK. We have a bit of summer at the moment, hope you do too.

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