Tavas – Cypriot braised beef with potatoes, tomato and oregano

Tavas is a popular dish from the island of Cyprus that is incredibly simple to make and full of robust Mediterranean flavours. The Cypriots often use cinnamon in savoury dishes; they sprinkle it on chicken skin and over potatoes before roasting them and it gives a wonderful layer of flavour to the tomato sauce that the beef and potatoes are braised in here. It’s a dish best served just warm with green vegetables or a salad on the side.


Serves 4

  • 1kg chunky slices of beef shin (you could also substitute lamb). 
  • 500g onions, sliced
  • 150ml light olive oil
  • 400g can of chopped tomatoes (or chopped and skinned ripe fresh tomatoes)
  • 1kg new potatoes, scrubbed and halved or quartered depending on their size
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 dessertspoon of tomato purée
  • 250 ml hot water
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • Salt and black pepper

To make…

  • Preheat the oven to 140°C.
  • Heat the oil in a fry pan and sauté the onions for 10 minutes with a pinch of salt until soft and translucent but not browned.
  • Place the onions, tomatoes, the water, the oregano, thyme and cinnamon, 1 tsp salt and 1tsp black pepper in a large roasting dish or shallow cast iron casserole. Mix thoroughly and add the thick chunks of beef and potatoes so that they are evenly distributed. Add a little more hot water and stir so the sauce comes to the same level as the the meat and potatoes if it needs it. Cover tightly with a lid or foil. Cook for 3 hours without peeking or stirring. The meat and potatoes should be tender and the sauce thick and delicious – the marbling in shin of beef melts into the sauce and adds both texture and flavour. Check the seasoning before serving.

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About Janet Davies @pigeoncottage

Food lover, author, cook!
This entry was posted in Meat main courses, Recipes and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Tavas – Cypriot braised beef with potatoes, tomato and oregano

  1. Alan Watson says:

    Hello, are your oven temperatures for a fan assisted oven? 

    Sent from Sky Yahoo Mail on Android

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