Sofrito, from the Greek island of Corfu, Aspa

I stayed on Corfu for a week in September 2013. The island was a revelation to me and I really enjoyed exploring its history, musical traditions, and beautiful coastline as a sole traveller for the most part.
The local cuisine was equally impressive and one particular dish called Sofrito stood out from the rest. Having spent most of lockdown drinking tea and coffee out of mug a good friend of mine brought back from the island when she went on holiday there last year, I decided to recreate the dish while stuck at home in London a whole seven years later. The doses below made 3 generous portions.
Let’s hope we’ll be able to travel safely there again next summer!

Aspa
  • Ingredients: 400g stewing steak (I used organic) or veal, plain flour, olive oil, two large cloves of garlic, a little balsamic vinegar and white wine, one chicken stock cube or ‘stockpot’, 300g boiling water 1 tsp granulated sugar, 30g capers, the zest and juice of 1 small lemon, a small bunch of flat leaf parsley, pepper and salt. ½ Kilo potatoes, 1 Tbsp white vinegar, 1 Tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper
  • Method: Cut the meat into small pieces and put in a largish bowl. Add the salt, pepper and flour. Using your hands, mix well. Add some olive oil to a hot hot pan (careful!). Introduce the meat and brown on all sides, then remove.

Now add the olive oil, the meat, garlic, vinegar and wine into a heavy shallow cooking pot. Stir everything together, adding the ‘stock pot’, water and sugar. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for at least an hour. Check at regular intervals in case you need to add more water. When ready the meat should be very tender. Remove the pot from the heat and finally add the capers, the lemon zest, lemon juice and parsley. Mix everything together again.

  • Peel and halve the potatoes. Boil them until done. Place in a bowl and add the white vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix and gently break them up.
  • To serve: Place the potatoes on a serving dish or individual plates. Spoon the meat over them and garnish with more finely chopped parsley and lemon wedges if you wish.

And Kali Oreksi! (Bon Appétit in Greek)

Editor’s note: Aspa used the Sofrito of Akis Petretzikis as a guide when first making this dish.

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