Today we meet again with Marilena Joannides. We will be discussing and cooking a popular Cypriot holiday dish.
For many centuries Greeks considered meat dishes to be a delicacy. This is why the dish we will be making today — pork with beets, celery and spices — used to be served during weddings along with other popular meat dishes like souvla, resi, ofto kleftiko, makaronia and dolmades-koupepia.
The use of beets is no accident — locals consider it an aphrodisiac. They even have a saying: «when a man and a woman share a beet, they are destined for love.»
Marilena told us that this dish used to be prepared in the winter, since pork is not cooked in the summer, while beets are an important ingredient that can be stored during the winter.
This hearty dish is also quite light and has an unforgettable aroma and taste. It is a perfect meal for a family dinner or a get-together with friends.
Please note that it's best to serve this dish with white wine and freshly baked oven bread.
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Pork with beets
A popular Cypriot holiday dish
Pork (lean) – 1 kg
Beets – 0,5 kg
Celery – 2-3 sticks
Lemon juice (freshly squeezed) – 1 lemon
Salt and pepper – to taste
Coarsely ground cumin – 1 teaspoon
Olive oil – 3 tablespoons
Water – 1 cup
First peel the beets the same way you peel potatoes — by scraping them.
Please remember that fresh beet juice leaves stains that are hard to remove. So wear latex gloves before you start cooking.
Cut each beet into four pieces. Then thinly slice each piece.
Chop up the celery.
Squeeze the lemon. Grind up cumin seeds.
In a medium-sized pot heat up olive oil, then add medium-sized chunks of meat. Stir the meat until it is light golden-brown.
Now add the beets and celery. Sprinkle salt, pepper and cumin. Then add water and lemon juice. Stir.
Leave everything over medium heat for 30-40 minutes.
Recipe by Marilena Joannides.