Meat stew is a traditional dish in Macedonia. Veal stew, tripe stew and chicken stew (and somewhere and fish stew) are served in every restaurant every day from morning till afternoon, usually combined with garlic sauce (makalo) and fresh bread. It’s hard to prepare a homemade stew like the ones served in restaurants, but this recipe is the best I’ve tried at home.
- 4 potatoes
- 3 medium carrots
- 1 veal bone
- 300 g of pure beef (brittle)
- 1 celery branch
- 2 parsnip
- 1 head garlic
- 1 lemon
- 4-5 laurel leaves
- 10 threads saffron
- Put the bone veal with 3 liters of water in a large pot. When water boils, reduce the temperature and leave to cook quietly for 1 hour. Remove the bone from the water and add the saffron to color the water.
- Cut veal (but don’t cut trough) to make it easier to get heat into the meat. Place the meat together with parsnip in the pot and leave to cook quietly for approximately 2 hours or until meat starts to fall apart. Cook covered with lid. Remove meat and add potatoes and carrots cut into tiny cubes, add celery branch and 4 to 5 laurel leaves.
- While potatoes and carrots are cooked, shred the meat in tiny pieces using two forks.
- Try potato cubes occasionally, if you think potato is cooked enough, remove two-thirds of the mixture of potatoes and carrots and blend them in a blender. That is the secret of thickening the stew. Once you have blended the mixture, add two to three cups of water from the pot in the blender and blend again to get a more liquid mixture, easier to bind with water in the pot. Add mixed potatoes and carrots back in the pot. Also put back the shredded meat and remove the celery and parsnip.
- Add two to three tablespoons of oil and a handful of parsley, add salt and black pepper as desired. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Finally, squeeze the juice of half a lemon.
For the garlic sauce (makalo):
Finely chop two large cloves of garlic. Put them in a bowl, mash and mix with two to three tablespoons of apple cider or wine vinegar and water for dilution.
Serve stew with bread which you soak in garlic sauce, apple vinegar and chilly peppers.