The simple Sunday and festive meal eaten in most of the Peloponnesos and elsewhere.
- 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 21/2 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into large
- stewing pieces
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup long-grain rice
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, to taste
1. Heat 1/3 cup of the olive oil in a pot over high heat and sear the meat until browned on all sides. Remove from the pot, set aside, and season with salt and pepper. Add the tomato paste to the pot and stir into the olive oil. Place the meat back in the pot and add enough water just to cover. Simmer, covered, over low heat until very tender, 11/2 to 2 hours.
2. About 25 minutes before the meat is done, prepare the rice: Rinse and drain the rice and toss by hand with the lemon juice in a bowl. In a flame-proof casserole or Dutch oven, heat the remaining 1/3 cup olive oil over medium heat and cook the onion, stirring, until soft and pearly.
3. Measure out 3 cups of broth from the pot. Add the rice to the casserole and stir to combine with the onion and oil. Pour in the hot broth, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer the rice until tender, 12 to 15 minutes, adding more broth if necessary.
4. To serve: Spread the rice on a large serving platter and pour the meat and all its pot juices over the rice. Melt the butter until it bubbles up and turns a golden brown and pour the melted butter over the meat just before serving.