Holiday recommendations by Ioannis Parikos and Popi Sevastou
Executive Chef – Secret Cook, Costa Navarino
“This dish is mainly inspired by the Sunday family tables of my childhood. It is a dish that reminds me of the warmth and union of the whole family around the festive table. The rich and full flavor of the meat together with the sweetness of the puree creates a deeply emotional dish.”
Beef Cheeks With Sweet Potato Mash and Chestnut Glaze
Ingredients (4 people)
- 200 gr. chestnuts, peeled
- Finely chopped chives (garnish)
- Salt flower (optional)
For the Cheeks
- 1 kg of beef cheeks, cleaned
- 200 gr. carrots
- 100 gr. celery
- 100 gr. onions
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 500 gr. demi-glace or meat stock
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 6 spices
- 2 star anise
For the sweet potato puree
- 800 gr. sweet potatoes
- 150 gr. butter
- Zest of 2 limes
Cheeks: In a pot, saute the cheeks with a splash of olive oil and as soon as the color changes, add the vegetables and saute for a while longer.
Deglaze with red wine. Add the demi-glace, the spices and cook on low heat for about 3-4 hours, until the cheeks are soft.
Chestnuts: Put the liquids in a saucepan, boil until the sauce thickens and add the chestnuts, cut into large pieces.
Sweet potato: Wrap the sweet potatoes in aluminum foil. Bake in the oven at 170 °C for 40 minutes, until they are soft. Peel the potatoes and mash them in the blender with the butter and lime zest until a smooth puree is formed.
Put the cheeks in the sauce to glaze and serve hot.
“For me, Christmas is synonymous with three words: security, peace, comfort. I feel the greatest security around my family, my people, in all seasons and all days of the year. The “peace” of Christmas begins from the moment I start listening to the voices of my beloved ones where the family will gather on Christmas day -that is at my aunt’s or my mother’s house. Last step, the comfort. I will always remember how warmly my father, at the end of the meal, would treat the guests to Hanky Panky. When I grew up, I took over the treat.”
- 45 ml Mataroa Mediterranean Dry Gin
- 45ml Beer Vermouth
- 5 ml Fernet Mint
Glass: Nick and Nora | Martinis
Garnish: Orange peel
Put all the ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake, strain and serve in a chilled glass.