Bekri Meze is a quick and very flavorful pork stew with a rich tomato sauce and bits of Gruyere or Kefalotyri cheese. It's flavored with red wine and spices. Plus a hint of spiciness (which is optional)!
What's Bekri Meze
In translation, Bekri Meze means drunken Meze. Where Meze refers to a type of appetizer that's served together with alcohol. And drunken either refers to the person who is eating it (who is consuming alcohol along with it), or to the fact that this dish is always cooked along with some alcohol. In some other versions, it can be Tsipouro or Ouzo instead.
So this quick pork stew is a dish that's mostly served as an appetizer or Meze along with other small plates. Together with alcohol and lots of bread to dip in the delicious sauce.
Bekri Meze is made of small little bites of pork, that get marinated for a few minutes with spices like smoked paprika, garlic, and cumin. And then gets sauteed very well in hot olive oil, before adding onions, red wine, tomato paste, and diced tomatoes to it. Plus, a few other seasonings like bay leaf, oregano, and garlic.
Finally, when the sauce has thickened you add small bites of cheese to it and let it soften into the sauce right before serving.
Type Of Cheese To Use
Kefalotyri and Gruyere cheese are the best options for this stew. But you can make it with a cheese like Kaseri or some Saganaki cheese as well.
You may also like this recipe...
If you like Meze dishes, try this saucy Greek sausage and pepper stew (Spetsofai). It's soo tasty!
- Brown the meat very well all over. It's what gives a strong flavor to the stew. To do this heat the oil well and wait a few minutes before flipping and turning the meat.
- Caramelize the tomato paste. Cook it stirring constantly before adding liquid to it. This enhances its flavor, brings down the acidity of the paste, gives stronger color to the sauce, and adds extra sweetness.
- Let the alcohol drain completely. To ensure there won't be any bitter flavor.
- Cook over medium-low heat partly covered. Keeping a standard simmer throughout cooking ensures the meat won't harden.
- Every piece of meat has different cooking times. Prick with a knife to see if it's tender enough otherwise add some hot water and cook a bit longer.
SERVE WITH 🠫
Serve this saucy pork stew sprinkled with red pepper flakes. You can add either sweet or spicy according to your liking. And don't forget to serve it together with lots of bread for dipping. And here are a few other small plates to serve with this Meze.
- Chickpea Fritters
- Eggplant Dip (Melitzanosalata)
- Fried Green Peppers
- Htipiti - Red Pepper And Feta Dip
- Stuffed Vine Leaves
- Baked Feta In Foil
Enjoy this pork stew as a main meal by serving it together with some steamed rice or french fries.
Bekri Meze (Drunken Pork Stew)
- 400 grams / 14 ounces boneless pork shoulder blade or neck cut cut into 3 cm (inch) pieces
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ⅓ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 small (65 grams) red onion minced
- 2 whole garlic cloves no need to peel them
- ⅓ cup sweet red wine
- ⅓ cup diced tomatoes canned or fresh
- 3 teaspoons tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano plus some extra to sprinkle on top
- 60 grams / 2 ounces Gruyere or Kefalotyri cheese diced to 1 cm pieces
- sweet or hot red pepper flakes to serve with
- salt and pepper
- Pat the meat dry with paper towels. Season with paprika, garlic powder, and cumin. Rub seasonings all around the meat and marinate at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
- In a saute pan heat olive oil over high heat. Sear the meat until well browned all over.
- Drop heat to medium-low and add the onion. Stir constantly for a minute. Then pour in the wine and scrape the bottom very well.
- Add the tomato paste and stir until caramelized and the wine has drained completely.
- Add the diced tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Add the bay leaf, oregano, and garlic cloves. Pour in 1 cup of boiling water.
- Simmer partly covered for about 20-25 minutes. Or until the meat is tender and the sauce thickened. If necessary add a little bit of extra water and simmer a bit more.
- Once ready, add the pieces of cheese here and there, turn off the heat, and cover the pan. Let the cheese soften like this for 2 min and then serve sprinkled with red pepper flakes and some extra oregano on top.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE...