Greek Bekri Meze – “Drunken” Pork Stew with Whisky and Wine

I have been wanting to make this pork stew dish long time now. This dish is a frequent dweller of the taverna menus in the appetizer section. It’s a typical meze dish. Meze meaning, several plates of different food in small portions, so we can enjoy every different taste. I love this concept because it gives you latitude, it helps you understand a cuisine more. The concept of “meze” is long rooted in Greek eating culture. When we go out, we like to order lots of meze plates, never omitting the specials of the day. This way you don’t miss out on anything.  It’s a win-win!

At home there’s always several cooked goodies lying around in the kitchen. Like for example, there’s yesterday’s lamb stew and some baked potato leftovers. But it’s not enough. “Again” my mom would tell herself “I have to cook something everyday!” So, she would come up with a quick idea, like for instance meatballs. Quick, so she feels she’s not a kitchen hostage. Nevertheless good food.  So she goes about her business with a guilt-free conscious. Mom if you are reading this, I love your meatballs. 🙂

What did really happen during dinner time?

While the family would gather around the table, the guest star meze plates would make their appearance out of the dungeons of our fridge or storage room: pickled peppers, olives, spicy cheese spread on rusks, raw artichokes with lemon. Last but not least, there would be the odd dish on the table, the one you didn’t see coming, like chicken soup or grilled octopus. Now this one would come in a main dish size. That’s how you knew, this is what your aunt or grandma or neighbor next door has cooked for today.

Point is, in case you liked that dish more than the others, you kind of disappear silently and knock on the door of your aunt, to join them for dinner. See? You are keeping your options open, you are playing the market!

Now that I think of it, I believe that’s precisely the reason why I cannot make up my mind when I go out for dinner with my husband Rob. I just simply can not do 2 mains and 1 starter. I feel I’m loosing out on all the other stuff on the menu. And it just dawned on me, it’s because of my meze eating culture! But I have talked long enough, let’s get to the recipe. By the way, you can serve this as a main or as an appetizer.

To make the pork stew

Because pork can dry out easily when cooked like this, I brinned it for 10 mins. So take a bowl and add 2 cups of water and 2 tbsps of salt. Mix until salt is dissolved. Add the pork cubes while you are preparing the rest.

 

Chop up the peppers in big pieces. Take the tomatoes and dice them. Additionally, roughly chop the onion. Have all your herbs and spices in hand.

Drain the water from the pork and pat it dry with kitchen towels. In a cast iron skillet (or wide heavy bottom one instead) heat up some olive oil. How much? Until it barely covers the bottom, but not quite. Saute the onions for 2 mins, just until they soften. Now add in the pork and saute for 10 mins over medium fire, until it’s slightly golden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reduce fire to low and add the wine and whiskey.

The classic bekri meze is made only with wine. However, the whiskey twist gives the flavor an extra punch. Love it! Scrape vigorously the fond, those browned bits that have formed on the bottom of the pan. It will give a ton of flavor to your food. I learned this from a very dear friend of mine last summer in Boston while making Ratatouille. 

Shortly after, add the peppers, garlich, tomatoes, herbs and spices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cook over medium fire for another 20 mins. If you feel that the sauce is “drying out”, add a bit of water to make it saucy. Adjust the spices if you want. Don’t over cook it, the pork will loose its tenderness. Serve warm with baked potatoes or french fries.

Drunken Pork stew with whisky and wine - Bekri Meze

Beautiful and juicy pork meat in a sauce of wine and whisky with tomatoes and peppers! Unique taste that will make you adore it.

Course Dinner
Cuisine Greek
Keyword pork stew
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Author PenelopeCooks

Ingredients

  • 700 g (1.5 lbs) pork cubes (1.5 lbs)
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 2/3 cup red wine
  • 40 ml whisky
  • 3 bell peppers, chopped in big pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 450 g (1 lbs) tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small sprig rosemary
  • 2-3 small sprigs fresh oregano, or fresh Za'atar
  • 1/2 cup hot water optional
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp harissa
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Preferably brine the port for 10-15 mins. In a bowl and add 2 cups of water and 2 tbsps of salt. Mix until salt is dissolved. Add the pork cubes.

  2. Chop up the peppers in big pieces. Dice the tomatoes. Roughly chop the onion.

  3. Drain the water from the pork and pat it dry with kitchen towels. In a cast iron skillet (or wide heavy bottom one instead) heat up some olive oil. Saute the onions for 2 mins, just until they soften. Add in the pork and saute for 10 mins over medium fire, until it’s slightly golden.

  4. Reduce fire to low and add the wine and whiskey.

  5. Shortly after, add the peppers, garlich, tomatoes, herbs and spices.

  6. Cook over medium fire for anout 20 mins. If you feel that the sauce is “drying out”, add a bit of water to make it saucy. Adjust the spices if need be. Don’t over cook it, otherwise it will become tough. Serve warm with baked potatoes or french fries.

 

 

 

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Karly
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I’ve never made a stew with pork before. I’m looking forward to it. Thanks for sharing.