Okra With Veal


Another staple of the Greek kitchen are okra. Okra is used alot in southern US cooking, Afro-American “soul food”, the Louisiana dish of Gumbo’s main ingredient is okra and in the Caribbean, Callaloo gets the okra treatment.

Okra look and taste similar to beans but then are obviously thicker and taper like a thin pepper. One of the advantages of okra is that the vegetable also acts as a thickening agent and that’s the main reason why it’s used in stews..

Here, I’m showing you two okra dishes from the Greek kitchen. One is a vegetarian Okra stew and the other is a stew of okra with veal or beef. The recipes have minor differences but the approach is the same and the great flavour is enjoyed in both.

The vegetarian dish can be served as a side, made into a main course or offered up as a meze. The meat version is of course, a stew that feeds a healthy and balanced meal.

Spice-wise, we don’t get too fancy here, allspice berries are the star here and from tasting this dish, you’d think other spices and were added but nah…it’s just the allspice.

Lis of La Mia Cucina is hosting a food event called Weekend Cookbook Challenge, an event created by my fellow left-coast Canadian, Sara of I Like To Cook. The only pre-requisite for this challenge is to cook something using a pressure cooker, dutch oven or slow cooker. These okra dishes are perfect for this event…you have here a pressure cooker, some braising and tender, flaky veal in a stew of tomatoes and okra…Yum!

Okra With Veal

1 kg. of stewing veal or beef, cut into large chunks
1lb. of okra (fresh or frozen), stems removed

(click here to read how to properly trim okra)

3 medium onions, sliced
1/2 cup of parsley, chopped

1/2 cup of plum tomatoes, pureed
4-5 cloves of garlic, sliced
8-9 allspice berries
1/4 cup olive oil

beef/veal stock
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Using your pressure cooker, place your veal inside with a little salt and cover with enough water to just cover the meat. Turn the heat to high and when your cooker starts whistling and the seal has been made, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes. Take the pressure cooker off the heat and safely release the pressure.
  2. In a separate large pot, add your olive oil, sliced onions and simmer for 10 minutes over medium heat.
  3. Add your tomato puree, then the okra, parsley, allspice, garlic and top with the veal. Now pour enough of the veal stock from the pressure cooker to just cover all the ingredients in your pot.
  4. Bring to a boil, taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Cover, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 1 hour. Taste for seasoning and let stand for 15 minutes (the okra will thicken the sauce).
  5. Serve with some feta cheese, crusty bread and mop-up!

© 2008 – 2009,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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43 Comments for “Okra With Veal”

Laurie Constantino

says:

Bamies, yum, yum, yum, such a very good treat. Although I have to quibble with you about okra tasting like beans – I think they have their own delicious flavor, which is unique as is their texture. Sure like the looks of your stews!

Lisa

says:

I don’t think I have ever cooked with orka, but this stew does sound interesting. Thanks for providing a vegetarian option :)

Ben

says:

I must confess that I’ve never had okra before. I need to get a pressure cooker first, though. I don’t know why I don’t have one, my mom uses hers a lot.

Elly

says:

Bamies are my absolute FAVORITE. I rarely get a chance to make them though because they always look like crap at the grocery store, lol. And paired with veal? I must eat this ASAP.

glamah16

says:

Well knock me over with a feather! I had no idea Okra was used in Greek Cuisine! I like pickled okra the best.

winedeb

says:

Too cool! I just planted some okra in the ground at a friends house and it is coming up! Hopefully, if the ground gods are with us, it will work! Wow, have not seen an okra recipe on the blogs at all yet! Yours looks perfect! And your previous post on the Shepherds Pie, one of my favorites. Must be a pie thing going on as Johanna just posted a pot pie recipe! Your pie looks great and sounds very flavorful and satisfying!
And Peter, I like your new banner title! Fits you!

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy

says:

I never knew that okra was in the Greek repertoire. Live and learn! Both of these dishes look great, but I’m partial to veal. I’ll definitely try this if I can just get over being intimidated by my pressure cooker!

Peter G

says:

Aaaah! Bamies! My childhood enemy returns as a friend in my adult years! These are delicious and I love the veg and non veg versions Peter. Its great that you’re educating everyone about how greeks use these. Bravo!

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

I thought using a pressure cooker is something I must do in the closet, but if you can use it, so can I. I don’t think I have ever seen okra around here, but the veal stew looks divine.

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

I thought using a pressure cooker is something I must do in the closet, but if you can use it, so can I. I don’t think I have ever seen okra around here, but the veal stew looks divine.

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

I thought using a pressure cooker is something I must do in the closet, but if you can use it, so can I. I don’t think I have ever seen okra around here, but the veal stew looks divine.

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

I thought using a pressure cooker is something I must do in the closet, but if you can use it, so can I. I don’t think I have ever seen okra around here, but the veal stew looks divine.

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

I thought using a pressure cooker is something I must do in the closet, but if you can use it, so can I. I don’t think I have ever seen okra around here, but the veal stew looks divine.

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

I thought using a pressure cooker is something I must do in the closet, but if you can use it, so can I. I don’t think I have ever seen okra around here, but the veal stew looks divine.

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

I thought using a pressure cooker is something I must do in the closet, but if you can use it, so can I. I don’t think I have ever seen okra around here, but the veal stew looks divine.

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

I thought using a pressure cooker is something I must do in the closet, but if you can use it, so can I. I don’t think I have ever seen okra around here, but the veal stew looks divine.

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

I thought using a pressure cooker is something I must do in the closet, but if you can use it, so can I. I don’t think I have ever seen okra around here, but the veal stew looks divine.

liz

says:

I love okra — and both versions look delicious. It seems like it’d be fairly easy to do this in a slow cooker, too, though it’d take a bit of planning. I’m putting a halt to any more kitchen purchases until I’m actually not planning on moving for a few years, so no pressure cooker for me!

Pixie

says:

I’ve yet to try okra but have come across it- I’m going to pick some up sometime in the future and give it a try. Even the vegetarian version looks tempting enough for me.

Peter M

says:

Laurie, I said similar and I guess both beans and okra are cooked in a similar fashion and you’re right, okra have their own niche flavour.

Lisa, I’m surprised…it’s a filling veggie too!

Ben, you could braise these too but yes, the pressure cooker is a good investment.

Elly, I grew up with veal and bamies….you’ll love’em.

Glamah, Greeks gots some soul, hun!

Deb, they’ll grow fine…they grow even in the poorest of soils.

Sticky, pressure cookers are very safe. Buy a good one so it lasts a lifetime.

Heather, next time I’ll use the canned gumbo…just for you (joking of course)! ;)

Pete, I’ll admit…as lil’ Peter I didn’t groove well on bamies.

Nina, I believe okra is of west african origin…ask around even though SA is a distance away.

Liz, the pressure cooker is a time saver, for the meat..the rest can be done in a dutch oven.

Maria…YES! I remember my mom throwing potatoes into the mix and fourno ya go!

Pixie, buy a bag and try them out…you’ll be gumbo-ed! lol

Lis

says:

Peter! Thank you so much for participating! I’ve never had okra before and had no idea it was used a lot in Greek cuisine – you learn something new every day! :)

Both dishes look delicious! Makes me so happy that I do own a pressure cooker. :D

xoxo

Bellini Valli

says:

Very tasty entry Peter:D I can’t trip the lip fantastic this morning at 5 AM but I do appreciate your okra:D

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen

says:

I really need to use okra more, especially that I am now living in the south, it seems a crime not to! I just was never totally sure what to do with it (I see it fried a lot here, and I didn’t want to do that). Thanks for showing me okra in a whole new light!

Helen

says:

I actually had no idea that Okra are used a lot in Greek cooking! just when you think you have good food knowledge…..I absolutely love allspice berries so this is very intriguing.

David Hall

says:

Hi Peter

I just can’t get my head around okra. I’ll eat it, but it doesn’t get me going. Maybe the veal recipe might do it for me?

Cheers
David

Ivy

says:

I always prefer the vegetarian version. Occasionally I make it in the oven with chicken but never heard beef before.

Sam Sotiropoulos

says:

Peter,

Okra (or as we call them ‘Bamies’ in Greek) are one of my favourites! Your stew looks fantastic, both with meat and without! I made the version without meat myself last week. Did you use fresh or frozen okra?

Susan from Food Blogga

says:

Okra is a staple in the Greek kitchen? Get oudda here! I first tried it when I lived in NC and have loved it since. But even in CA, most people aren’t familiar with it.

Peter M

says:

Lis, thank you for hosting. Come visit again, lots of tasty food to be had here.

Val, now you know how I feel when I see your ribs in the AM!

Jenn, okra is yum…the farmer’s market should have lots of it!

Helen, okra (bamies) are used alot in our cuisine.

David, I prefer okra with veal too.

Ivy, bamies with veal…northern Greek classic…look beyond Attiki! lol

Alexandra, no soaking in vinegar.

Sam, thanks again..it’s a family fave. I found frozen to be comparable to fresh, as in we freeze our own bamies for future use.

Mochachocolata Rita

says:

so jealous of everyone who have their pressure cooker *grin* it takes me hours to cook tender and juicy meat dishes on a gas stove in a conventional pot…let me drop some heavy heavy hints on my sous chef and friends for my xmas gift LOL

btw this looks gorgeous, peter, your dishes are really something new to me…

Proud Italian Cook

says:

Dare I say… “I’m not an okra lover!” I can’t get into the “slime” of it. But your veal looks terrific!! :-D

Núria

says:

I had to look it up in the dictionary to know what okra is and the word sounds African to me: Quingombó!!!
What a great name for a dish
Quingombó Veal Stew!

Anonymous

says:

One of my ya-ya’s stories was of when she was a young bride recently moved to the USA by her much older (25 yrs!) husband and proudly made okra for a guest that my papou brought home. She was NOT an experienced cook at that time and her okra was a slimy mess. As I recall the story, she served the okra and the guest bravely ate dinner. After dinner (ya-ya in tears) papou (chuckling) gave her a lesson in okra cooking. As she got into her 80s, ya-ya retold many of the same stories and this was one of them! Fortunately, ya-ya became an excellent cook and I struggle to recreate many of her dishes. It’s just never the same as ya-ya’s! I enjoy reading your blog. (wow, homemade phyllo!)

Pam

says:

Peter, the veal looks yummy. But okra is probably my least favorite vegetable. Though I will eat it pickled, but even then it’s kind of creepy.

kellypea

says:

I had no idea that okra was Greek! My mother used to fry it in cornmeal and then cook it slow in stewed tomatoes. It took me years to acquire the taste. This recipe sounds so delicious. I’ve never had a pressure cooker, but have been thinking about getting one. I can’t find an excuse, though, because I have all the time in the world to keep an eye on the pot.

Annemarie

says:

How funny for me to read your okra recipe – my Greek friend was waxing lyrical about okra yesterday and begging me to follow her recipe for it. I thought ‘What’s a Greek person doing with okra?’ but you’ve helped confirm the trend. (Oh, and since you’ve asked: truffle oil? It’s certainly a deep and musky flavor though supposedly most truffle oils have never even had a whiff of real truffle, so it’s a bit of a con…)

Eugenia

says:

My mother in Greece is putting okra in a lemon agent for at least an hour before cooking. This way the slimy thing that comes out of okras is minimized.