Here’s a dish my Dad loves to make: it combines three of his favourite foods: potatoes, peppers (with some heat) and kebapia – what folks in Florina call Soutzoukakia. Kebapia are usually grilled on open pits at one of the many tavernas in the region serving up an array of meats.
The weather has gotten cooler and although here in Canada we don’t stop grilling (yes we grill in the middle of winter) there are those who have shifted to using the oven again or some who do not have a grill. It’s your lucky day!
You get a pan of roasted potatoes with a delicious, spicy sauce perfumed with bay, peppers, paprika and oregano. There’s a spike of some heat from the Boukovo (chilli flakes) but nothing to cause alarm. For those that frequent this blog you know I like to accent with heat, not overpower a dish.
The Kebapia are added near the end of the dish, just enough time for them to roast and get some colour and allow the juices to meld with the rest of the party happening down below with the potatoes. More northern Greek comfort from my kitchen to yours!
Kebapia With Roast Potatoes (Κεμπαπια με Πατατες στο Φουρνο)
For the Potatoes
6 large Yukon Gold (or other yellow potatoes, peeled and quartered)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2-3 cloves of garlic, smashed
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 green bell pepper, sliced
1/2 carrot, halved lengthwise then sliced
1 large ripe tomato, passed through a box grater (or 3/4 cup vegetable cocktail)
1 tsp. sweet paprika
1 tsp. Boukovo (chilli flakes)
2 bay leaves
1 cup hot chicken or vegetable stock
1-2 tsp. coarse sea salt
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 tsp. dried Greek oregano
Pre-heated 425F oven
For the Kebapia
1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground pork
1 medium onion, finely grated
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 slices of stale bread, soaked in milk then squeezed dry
approx. 2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground pepper
1/2 – 1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 – 1 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. dried mint
2 tsp. dried Greek oregano
- Pre-heat your oven and set the rack to the middle position. In medium-sized deep baking dish add the potatoes, garlic, onions, peppers, carrot, grated tomato, paprika, bay leaves, ground pepper, Boukovo, oregano and toss to coat. Add the hot stock, mix well and taste and add salt to taste and more ground pepper and stir-in.
- Drizzle with olive oil (be generous) and place in your pre-heated oven for 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, mix all your Kebapia ingredients with your hands in a bowl and fry-off a small piece of meat and taste and adjust seasoning to taste. Form into palm-sized rissoles and after the 30 minute mark, place the kebapia on time of the potatoes and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until potato-tops are crisp, the kebapia are browned all over (you may rotate them after 10 minutes and there’s still some sauce in the dish. Good crusty bread is a must here.
- Serve with a Kir Yanni Dyo Elies Syrah/Merlot/Xinomavro blend.
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