Kokkinisto: Greek Red Sauce for Meat

Beef Kokkinisto
Sofia Gk / Flickr / CC By 2.0
  • 2 hrs 5 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 105 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings
Ratings (10)

Kokkinisto (in Greek: κοκκινιστό, pronounced koh-kee-nee-STOH) is a Greek term used when tomatoes are the base for a sauce for meat. The word means "reddened," since the meat turns red when cooked in the sauce. This sauce can be used for chicken, beef, pork, veal, and lamb. And because the long cooking time and sauce ingredients help tenderize even the toughest cuts of meat, the meat doesn't have to be expensive. This sauce is also used for meatballs.

With just a few simple ingredients such as your choice of meat, onion, tomatoes and tomato paste, red wine, and seasonings, this recipe can easily be put together. And with 1 1/2 to 2 hours of unattended cooking time, kokkinisto is the perfect recipe to make on a weekend and keep on hand for a quick dinner on a busy weeknight. It is delicious served over rice, potatoes, or pasta and only needs a salad to make a complete meal.

What You'll Need

  • 1 1/2 pounds meat of choice
  • 1 cup of olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium-large onion (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup of dry red wine
  • 2 cups of tomatoes (chopped, fresh or canned, or concentrated tomato juice)
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • 2 to 3 ​bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste

How to Make It

  1. Cut meat into serving-sized pieces (larger than bite-sized), or form into meatballs.
  2. In a stew pot, sauté the onion over medium heat in 2 to 3 tablespoons of the oil until translucent.
  3. Add remaining oil and raise the heat; add the meat, browning on all sides.
  4. Add the wine and stir to bring down the temperature in the pot.
  5. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper, bay leaves, and tomato paste and stir until well blended.
  1. Lower heat and simmer partially covered for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the meat is tender.
  2. Add a little more water if the sauce begins to dry.
  3. Remove bay leaves and serve.