CRETAN APAKI WITH COUS COUS
In Crete, it was customary for every family in the village to raise a pig, the "pig", as they called it. The pig was usually slaughtered on Christmas Eve and was the main dish of the season.In Crete, it was customary for every family in the village to raise a pig, the "pig", as they called it. The pig was usually slaughtered on Christmas Eve and was the main dish of the season.
It produces a great deal of meat and they make sure nothing is lost. There is some use for every part of the animal and so they made sausages, apaki and potted pork with its fat.It produces a great deal of meat and they make sure nothing is lost. There is some use for every part of the animal and so they made sausages, apaki and potted pork with its fat.This was because in addition to eating fresh meat they had to find ways to conserve as much meat as possible for protein intake, in addition to eggs, dairy and legumes.The Cretans made the good apaki from pork loin. However, they also used pork leg and very tender, fat-free meat, without any preservatives to keep it.In my village, those who loved good meat, good meze and good company made apaki. They hung the meat in the chimney of a fireplace in a special place where it was slowly smoked. The village was rich in olives, thyme, sage, marjoram and oregano, which were the most suitable for the most aromatic apaki. They were then put in leaded clay vessels and covered with pork fat. In this way the meat was maintained for a long time.It is an excellent food of unlikely taste, eaten on its own, cold or slightly warmed for a wine appetizer, with beans, fries, omelets, pasta sauces, bulgur or noodles.Today in Crete there are small family businesses which, based on authentic recipes from ancestors, have managed to produce excellent meat products, with modern ways of ensuring quality so that we can all enjoy it.Today I am going to try to present to you a traditional Cretan apaki with ground bulgur wheat, which has a variety of nutrients.
200g of wholemeal ground bulgur wheat (cous cous)
100ml olive oil
1 ripe tomato
1 tablespoon grape syrup
1 dried onion
600ml chicken or vegetable broth
½ teaspoon cumin
A little parsley
Salt & pepper
First cut the apaki into small portions.
Fry the apaki in a deep frying pan with a little bit of olive oil.
Remove the apaki from the pan and keep it on a plate for later.
In the oil left in the frying pan (there is all the taste of apaki), fry the onion and leek after finely chopping. Stir constantly to soften but not to burn.
Add the grated tomatoes and the grape syrup. Add the spices and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
Add the cous cous and mix to fry. Slowly add the broth and allow to boil for 10 minutes at low temperature. If needed during the cooking, add a little more broth.
Add the apples, stir and let it boil yet another time.
Chop a little parsley and let the food finish cooking with a lid on.