It’s called “papa giahni” and it is a tender lamb and onion stew! Amazing lamb (or beef if you want) cooked slowly with onions at low temperatures, allowing the flavors of all the ingredients to gradually fuse with one another. Most probably originated from the Monasteries of Mount Athos.

Serves: 5-6 Preparation time: 15′ Cooks in: 1:30′ Ready in: 1:45′

1 kg leg of lamb, in small chunks
2 tbsp butter
1 kg very small, round onions (not shallots)
1 green chili pepper, finely chopped
2 garlic heads, finely chopped
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1½ cup sweet wine
2 ripe large tomatoes, peeled, diced
1 tbsp tomato paste
3 cups hot beef stock
1 good pinch sweet paprika
1 good pinch cinnamon
5-6 allspice berries
salt, freshly ground black pepper


Step 1
Boil lamb with a glass of water in a pan and until all liquid evaporates. Then heat butter in a large heavy pan and cook onions for 2-3 minutes. Add chili and garlic and cook until fragrant. Add tomato paste and stir for a couple of minutes.

Step 2
Add meat chunks to the pan and cook well until nicely browned. Stir in vinegar and wine. When evaporated add tomatoes, paprika, cinnamon, allspice berries and stock. Season well with salt and pepper and simmer in medium heat until meat is very tender and sauce thickens. Add extra stock if necessary. Serve warm.

Photo Vangelis Paterakis – Food styling Antonia Kati