Tava (Baked Beef with Potatoes, Cumin & Tomatoes)

I have the habit of buying excessive ingredients or preparing huge amount of food to serve for parties, for fear that my guests would go home with half-full stomach if the food is not enough, as a result, I always end up with leftover that I have to eat for days.

One good example is the lunch I had today. It's actually cooked from leftover ingredients from Boxing Day. I invited a few close friends over for lunch on that day, and I still have some potatoes and beef left from a dish that I prepared . Since I'm working from home and I have some spare time to cook today, I thought it's a good opportunity to use up the ingredients by preparing the same dish again.

Tava, a Cypriot dish from Falling Cloudberries by Tessa Kiros, is actually baked lamb with potatoes, cumin and tomatoes. I used beef instead of lamb, as I forgot to ask my friends if they like lamb or not. Anyway, I woke up early this morning to get some tomatoes and onions from the wet market. Once I reached home, I just dumped all ingredients in a casserole dish and added some seasonings before it was baked in the oven. The beef was slow-cooked for 2.5 hours, and by the time I stopped working and break for lunch, it's ready!

In my opinion, Tava is the perfect food to serve for potluck or any parties. This yummy dish uses simple ingredients and it's so easy to prepare. If you have a few dishes to cook for parties, Tava can be prepared first and once it's cooked, it can be kept warm by covering with aluminum foil and the oven can be freed up for other dishes.

Tava (Baked Beef with Potatoes, Cumin & Tomatoes) Recipe

2 Onionsn
1kg potatoes
1kg beef/ lamb
Flat leaf parsley
3 teaspoons cumin seeds
4 or 5 tomatoes
125ml olive oil
125ml water
50g butter, cut into pieces

1. Cut potatoes, tomatoes , onions, beef or lamb into chunks and put it in a casserole dish. Season with sea salt and black pepper.
2. Chop up parsley, mix it with cumin seeds and olive oil. Drizzle the mixture onto the casserole dish.
3. Pour water around the dish.
4. Ramdomly spread the butter on the ingredients.
5. Cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil and bake in the oven at 180 C for 2 hours.
6. After 2 hours, increase the temperature to 200C and bake for another 30 minutes.
7. Serve.


Other than Tava, I also prepared Sweet and Sticky Chicken Wing (from Nigel Slater's The Kitchen Diaries), Greek Salad and Honeydew & Vanilla Semi-Freddo (Gordon Ramsay's Just Desserts) and garlic bread for the party. My friends, LG brought along dumpling soup and WN came with yummy ribs from Tony Roma's.

Picture of us tugging in the food


Kalyn Denny said…
Hey, thanks for visiting my blog. This looks like a good recipe. I love slow cooked dishes in winter.
cin said…
I have this book but haven't tried any recipes yet. This dish looks very yummy tho'.
Piggy said…
Hi Kalyn,

Thanks. Do try out the recipe. :-)

Hi Cin,

Thanks for dropping by!

Actually I've got this book for a long time and this is the first time I attempted the recipe. It's surprisingly good!
Anonymous said…
what cut of beef did you use???????????? I would like tto try this but the cut makes all the difference..
Piggy said…
Hi Electron,

Er, I'm not sure what cut of beef I used. It's the part with a bit of tendon, I find that it actually taste better.