BEEF AND QUINCE STEW
(Moschari me Kydonia)
Smyrna and Poli Greeks popularized this exotic dish, which has become one of the Sunday favorites.
Flour for dredging
Salt, pepper to taste
2 1/2 pounds lean boneless beef, cubed large
4-6 tablespoons Krinos Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 large red onions, peeled, halved and sliced
2 large quinces, peeled, cored, and submerged in a bowl of lemon water until ready to use
1 cup peeled chopped plum tomatoes
1 small cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 to 3/4 cups water
1/4 cup fresh chopped mint
Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a large plate and dredge the beef lightly, shaking off any excess.
Heat 4 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or casserole and sauté the onions over medium heat until lightly golden, about 8-10 minutes. Add the quince and sauté lightly, to color and soften a little. Remove both with a slotted spoon.
Add remaining olive oil to the pot and brown the meat, over high flame and turning to color on all sides. Toss the onions back into the pan, add the tomatoes, cinnamon, bay leaf, allspice, salt, pepper, and 1/2-3/4 cup of water. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the quinces to the pot and continue cooking, covered, another 20-25 minutes, until the beef is tender and the pot juices thick. Five minutes before removing from heat, toss in the mint and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
Yield: 6 servings
Note: Chicken may be used in place of beef. Substitute a medium sized fryer (about 3 pounds) cleaned, quartered and skinned. Follow the recipe exactly the same way.