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February 18, 2023
Half the time, there’s a cake-fest going on in our kitchen so Gaby needed relocating temporarily. Banksy’s inspiration was timely 😀.
Some classic recipes just go on and on. And this is a favourite of adults and kids at our full-house dinners.
If I have our apprentices up for after work, they’ll often say, “Don’t bother asking, just do the chicken and beans!” A lamb cutlets version was my favourite dish as a kid amongst all the Greek dishes that were crammed onto a small drop-leaf dining table. But Fasolakia works without any meat as a vegan dish too.
Growing up, my mother only cooked Greek food and my Dad the English – the best Sunday roasts, apple and rhubarb pie, bread pudding – hearty and proud working class fare. But he never attempted ‘foreign’ food, that was Mum’s domain. On the rare occasions they veered out of lane it was a culinary car-crash. I'm not sure if they each felt they were trespassing... some cultural appropriation, but their hearts clearly weren't in it and even as young kids we could taste that. In her later years we’d set aside evenings together to cook all her key Greek recipes, and I wrote them down to continue her heritage into the next generation.
This one-pot recipe is difficult to get wrong, though practice does refine and improve the timing, textures and flavours.
Ingredients: Serves 4
12 lamb chops or 8 pieces of chicken4 celery stalks finely sliced/chopped5 large potatoes halved or quarteredFrench beans or runner beans3 tbsp olive oil (extra optional)1 large onion finely chopped1 cup of parsley finely chopped1 tbsp tomato puree4 cloves garlic1/2 tsp dried oreganoPepper Salt
Heat the oil and lightly brown the meat each side before adding a little water, then simmer with the lid on for 20 minutes.
Add the onion, celery, parsley, garlic, oregano and tomato purée.
Simmer for 20 minutes before adding potatoes. Simmer for 30 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper, then add the beans and simmer for 30 minutes more.
Serve with tasty bread to mop up the delicious sauce at the end.
Michael Van Clarke
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