Kokkinisto - comfort food in Greek.

Jan 12, 2012

I’m sure there must be typical Sunday family meals all over the world with dishes that in English are called ‘’comfort food’’ because they are family favorites. In Greek we don’t have the term “comfort food” but we call a family’s favorite dishes ‘’Sunday dishes’’ probably because Sunday is the only day families manage to gather and have lunch all together.

 I remember Sunday family meals usually had our favorite food cooked with love by moms or grandmas and served informally in the kitchen or more formally in the dining room. My favorite Sunday dish had always been kokkinisto and, as far as I know, it is many other kids’ favorite too. Kokkinisto means “made red” and it is meat, in our case beef, cooked in tomato sauce. This dish is usually served with fried potatoes, (this must be the reason kids love it) spaghetti, or with other traditional pasta like chylopites (little squares of pasta) and grated mizithra cheese. On the island of Corfu this dish has its own special name, ’’pastitsada’’ and it is served with macaroni.

Serves 4

1kg fillet of beef, top loin or sirloin
150gr olive oil
300gr chopped ripe tomatoes
1 Tsp tomato paste (optional)
1 Tsp sugar
1 medium onion, chopped
1-2 garlic cloves chopped
1 cinnamon stick
Salt and pepper to taste
1 litre hot water

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the meat in batches, cooking until just browned, - about 2 minutes. Remove meat to a plate and in the same skillet cook the onion, stirring, until it is softened (about 3 minutes). Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, spices, garlic and water and simmer for 5 minutes. Put the meat back in the skillet with the tomato sauce, cover and cook for about 1 hour or until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened. If needed, add more water   and cook some more. Serve with pasta or fried potatoes. 


  1. I gave cravings for this! I'm just waiting patiently for my three young children to start asking for this each week!!

    1. Thank you Mex, I hope your kids will love it too.

  2. It is a favourite in our household. I've converted my non-Greek husband. He loves this dish with either chicken or beef.

    1. It truly is a nice recipe for both beef or chicken. And if you serve it each time with
      something different, you never get bored of it.