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Kimas Moscharisios Kokkinistos: Traditional Greek Meat Sauce

User Rating 1 Star Rating (1 Review)


Greek Meat Pie - Kreatopita

Meat Pie - Kreatopita

Photo © N. Gaifyllia, licensed to About.com, Inc.

In Greek: κιμάς μοσχαρίσιος κοκκινιστός, pronounced kee-MAHS mohs-hah-REE-seeyohs koh-kee-nee-STOHS

This is a classic meat sauce for use in baked casseroles. The tastes of cinnamon, cloves, bay leaf, and garlic are Greek favorites. Use it in baked dishes like Moussaka, Pastitsio, or Kreatopita (meat pie, see photo), or in any recipe for a baked casserole calling for a meat sauce to give a unique taste. The recipe calls for ground beef, tomato paste, cinnamon, cloves, garlic, onions, and red wine.

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes


  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 3/4 pounds of ground beef (single grind)
  • 1/2 cup of red wine
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3-4 whole cloves
  • 1 small stick of cinnamon
  • 1 cup of water (more if desired)


In a heavy skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat and sauté the garlic and onion until soft but not brown.

Add ground beef and sauté 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently, until completely browned.

Dissolve tomato paste in the wine and add to the pan. Stir in salt, pepper, bay leaf, cloves, and cinnamon. Add water and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to slow boil (simmer) and cook for 35-40 minutes, adding more water to adjust thickness.

Note: Thickness will depend on final recipe where you want to use the sauce.
[blockquote shade=grur]Guide's Response to User Review
"Thanks for your comments and you are right. This recipe is for a meat sauce that should be used in baked dishes such as Moussaka, Pastitsio, etc. The description was misleading and I have changed it." Nancy Gaifyllia, Your Guide to Greek Food

User Reviews

 1 out of 5
So disappointing..., Member bill0318

Having read the traditional Greek meat sauce recipe, I was very enthused to make it for dinner today. Your directions were followed precisely and the ingredients consisted of 90% lean fresh ground beef chuck roast and the cinnamon, cloves, and bay leaf were direct imports from Grenada, the wine Ruffino Chianti. The finished sauce was ladled over a thin spaghetti. Now, for the disappointment--the flavor was bland or just extremely dull--fortunately, the fine spices could be detected, however, still too dull for my palate. On a 1 to 10 scale, this dish measured barely a 4, the leftover sauce will have a deliciously mild Caribbean barbecue sauce added to use for sloppy joes. But, if I had wanted sloppy joes, I would have made my traditional recipe for them and not have attempted this failure. Be advised, this meat sauce is not bad tasting, only mediocre--better to try something else than attempt to manipulate the ingredients.

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