Avgolemono is an egg-lemon mixture that turns a simple dish of boiled beef and vegetables into a special meal. Inexpensive stewing meat works very well in this recipe, making it an economical choice for a family dinner. After the meat and vegetables are boiled, rice is added to the broth, then a mixture of eggs and lemon juice, making this a substantial and budget-friendly meal of boiled beef and vegetables with an egg-lemon (avgolemono) beef soup as a starter.
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours
- 4 1/2 pounds of stewing beef pieces with bones
- 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
- 1-2 teaspoons of sea salt
- 1 medium onion, cut in chunks
- 3-4 stalks of celery, in slices
- 3-4 medium carrots, in slices
- 1 cup of short-grain rice, rinsed
- 12 to 14 cups of water
- FOR THE AVGOLEMONO EGG-LEMON MIXTURE
- 3 eggs, separated
- 2 tablespoons of water
- juice of 3-4 lemons
In a large stew pot, cover the meat with 12 cups of water and bring to a boil. Skim off any foam that rises to the top.
Add salt, pepper, onion and continue to boil for 10 minutes. Add celery and continue cooking for 50 minutes. Add carrots. Continue to boil for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the liquid reduces by about half and the meat is fork tender. (Total cooking time: 2 1/2 to 3 hours.)
Remove the meat and vegetables, place on a serving platter, and cover to keep warm. Strain the broth.
Measure 6 cups of strained broth and return to the pot. If needed, add water to make the full 6 cups.
Bring broth to a boil and add rice. Boil for 10 minutes.
Make the avgolemono egg-lemon mixture: Just before cooking time is up, beat the egg whites to stiff peak stage. Slowly beat in (in order) egg yolks, water, and lemon juice. Slowly drip in 3/4 to 1 cup of the hot broth, whisking continuously.
As soon as the rice has cooked for 10 minutes, turn off the heat. Add egg-lemon mixture to the soup and stir in gently, stirring in one direction only.
Yield: 4-5 bowls of soup, beef and vegetables for 4-5
Note: If bone-in stew meat is not available, use less meat and add soup bones. The bone marrow (μεδούλι, methouli, say: meh-THOO-lee) adds taste and depth to this simple dish.