Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Greek Briam - Glorious Summer Vegetable Stew

Briam is a wonderful Greek vegetable stew that can be adapted according to what's in season - or in the larder. It's a great vegetarian main course that takes very little preparation but tastes fabulous and is economical too.

I've experimented with recipes from several online sources as well as one from The Food and Cooking of Greece - a wonderful book which gives lots of information about ingredients used in Greek cookery and the history and origin of many dishes. With a little trial and error, the below recipe is the one I believe most resembles the delectable dish I associate with my beloved Corfu and glorious hot summer nights. 

This will serve four people with rice and some fresh, crusty bread. 

Here's how:

200g peeled potatoes
1 tin chopped tomatoes
Handful fresh cherry tomatoes
1 courgette
1 onion
1 green pepper
3 cloves garlic
1 carrot
1 bay leaf
1tbsp dried oregano
1tsp sea salt
Pinch of peppercorns
1/2 glass of red wine 
Couple strands of celery
1/2 pint of vegetable stock

Firstly peel the potatoes and chop into small cubes, rinse then parboil. 

In the meantime slice the onions and garlic and add to a deep casserole dish. Halve the courgette and then halve again and chop into equal discs about the thickness of a pound coin and throw into the dish.

Cut the pepper into similar sized chunks as the courgette and cut the tomatoes in half and add both. 

Peel the carrot and chop into fine oblongs. Chop the celery and add both to the casserole dish.

Add the tin of tomatoes, the drained potatoes (drain when you can pierce the flesh with a fork easily) and the red wine.

Add the bay leaf, seasoning and oregano and pour over the vegetable stock and 2 tbsp olive oil and give a good stir. Place the lid on and pop into the oven for 2.5 hours at around 150-160 degrees. Remove the lid for the last 30 minutes of cooking and stir every 40 minutes or so. 

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