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img_3746-1The title of this dish means three different things in three different languages and cuisines. Sofrito in Spanish refers to a well-cooked and fragrant sauce. In Italian, Sofrito means a saute and it often refers to sauteing a “mire poix”.

The Greek take on Sofrito is related to the Italian definition as veal or beef escaloples are sauted in a skillet and served with an accompanying sauce. It’s a dish native to the island of Corfu(Kerkyra), which is located on the Ionian Coast of Greece, facing Italy.

The island of Corfu was occupied by Genovese privateers and later the Venetians, after the slow break-up of Byzantium. I visited Corfu (Kerkyra) back in 1988 and one of the first things I remember upon approaching this island with the ferry boat was the architecture. Although not entirely foreign, it is different from most of the other Greek architecture found throughout Greece.liston-square-1

Corfu is a large island and if you plan to pay a visit here, a car (rental) is highly recommended if you want to see much of this fair island. The ferry boat ride from Igoumenitsa is just a couple of hours, the island is lush with green, vegetation and trees, sweeping beaches and small bays hug the perimeter.

Foodwise, Corfu was the island that introduced me to the pasta dish, Carbonara and I can assure you, most Greeks share in my delight in this creamy dish. In the meantime, let’s cook up Corfu’s specialty, Sofrito. Veal or beef can be used for this dish. On this occasion, I had some eye of round beef, I cut it into some thin slices, pounded into escalopes and tenderized it with the toothed side of the pounder.

There are many takes on this dish, I chose this one as I liked the addition of sage and I paired it with some roasted Greek potatoes. If you haven’t made your own Greek roasted potatoes, pre-heat your oven to 450F, toss your potato wedges in olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and some Greek oregano is usually added in the mix. Place in the oven and roast until fork-tender.img_3742

As for the Sofrito, this dish takes about an hour – that’s about as much time as it takes for your potatoes to roast. Uncork a bottle of white, pour yourself a glass, reserve a glass for the Sofrito and finish the bottle off during dinner. For this dish, try out the Gentilini Classico from the island of Cephallonia. Cephallonia is another Greek island on the Ionian coast, south of Corfu and this dry white contains Moschofilero and two local varietals…Tsaoussi and Robola grapes.

Sofrito (σοφρίτο)

(serves 4)img_3741-1

approx. 1lb. of veal (or beef) escalopes

all-purpose flour for dredging

1/3 cup olive oil

1 medium onion, sliced

3 large cloves of garlic, minced

3 sage leaves, finely chopped

3/4 cup dry white wine

2 cups of beef or chicken stock

salt and pepper to taste

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

squeeze of lemon juice (optional)

  1. Assuming that you have already pounded (or bought) your meat into thin escalopes, season both sides with a little salt and pepper and then lightly dredge in flour. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the escalopes and brown on both sides. Transfer to a plate and reserve.
  2. Add the sliced onions to the skillet and saute over medium heat until they become translucent. Now add the garlic and sage and saute for another minute. Now add the white wine and simmer for 2-3 minutes, raise the heat to medium-high while scraping up the brown bits with a wooden spoon.
  3. Now add your escalopes back into the skillet and now add the stock, bring to a boil add some salt and pepper, cover and reduce to a simmer and and cook for about 45 minutes or until the meat has become tender and sauce is a velvety-thick consistency.
  4. Take off the heat and allow to rest for about 10 minutes covered. Add your chopped fresh parsley and plate each escalope with some roasted Greek potatoes and a seasonal salad. Don’t forget to enjoy this meal with the Gentilini Classico!


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© 2007-2009 Peter Minakis

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Peter Minakis

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51 Comments for “Sofrito”


Simplicity defined Peter! I’ve mad something similar but had no idea it stems from Corfu…the potatoes look perfect!


Delicious looking dish Peter. I love the flavours & how appetizing it looks. YUM!! The Greek roasted potatoes sound just right too!


Looks incredible. I may try and make this for the family here. I have leftover potatoes from the pot roast so that would be taken care of!


This sounds delicious … I can dip a piece of bread right into that sauce 9through my monitor)!! When in Kerkyra each summer this is one of the dishes I eat most often. And though it is one of the island’s most popular “native” dishes, each taverna I’ve sampled it in, makes it a bit different. But the common denominator there is usually vinegar and an entire bunch of parsley in the sauce. Try it that way too if you get the chance Peter … you won’t be disappointed!!


One of the dishes I enjoyed when we went to Kerkyra was Sofrito. Yours sounds great and those potatoes are perfect with the dish.


I haven’t been around the blogosphere for a week or so, and then I see THIS and realize I have missed it so much! A great, hearty, delicious dish. Mmm.


I’m always struck by how deep, deep blue the sky is in your Greece photos. Gorgeous! This recipe is also gorgeous. I love this type of dish and so rarely have it. It’s only 8:00 in the morning, and I’m craving a plate of this already!

I thought of you and the other Greed bloggers this weekend … I saw a Greek dance demonstration and it was wonderful! Reminded me of dances we dance at Italian weddings where people link arms and dance in circular patterns. Do you ever partake in Greek dancing?


What a beautifully simple and tasty looking dish. I love your poato recipe too.

I’m a little grumpy right now as I was all psyched to make your dill and caper shrimp for my poor, sick husband’s dinner tonight and there was no dill to be found in Whole Foods!


So interesting! The sofrito is the same name used for the basis of a paella. Same name, different ingredients (and end result, obviously). Delicious dish.


What a stunning sofrito dish. I am lost in the Greek wonders of all those wonderful places to visit – bravo Peter on a great post.


The sofrito looks delicious and I’m enjoying the scenic photos interspersed in your recent posts. Corfu is one of the places I visited on one of my trips to Greece.


Fascinating post. I’ve read about sofrito in passing, but didn’t really know about the distinctions between countries. This dish looks lovely, every bit as lovely as the island itself!


Thanks for the lesson on Sofrito. The meat looks fantastic.

By the way, I watched Tony Bourdain go to Greece the other night, watching Travel Channel late. I thought of you the whole time. :)


Ooooh yummy yum yum! I love the look of that Peter and those potatoes too.
Ps: I don’t have veal but I have some ordinary pork escalopes in my fridge even as I type! I’m thinking I can use those??


your posts are always so informative–thanks. :)
meanwhile, this recipe is fabulous–so glad it’s okay to substitute regular beef for veal. :)


How funny the word is the same! Your dish looks a bit like our Fricandó… one of my faves :D. Is there room for me at the table? I can also help you with the wine ;D


That looks absolutely divine Mr Peter and Corfu looks like a beautiful city to visit. Thanks for clarifying the different kinds of sofritos, i didn’t know that. Boy, I’m craving a vacation to Greece right now.



I made this for my gourmet dining group and for other guests, and, oh brother, did the compliments roll in. It is absolutely wonderful and such a great make-ahead dish. I made it the night before and just reheated it and it was perfect.