Greek Cabbage and Pork Stew or Cabbage & Beef

pork, cabbage, beef, stew, cooked

A hearty meat stew, cabbage pork is substantial and perfect for winter. Super popular in Northern Greece and the Balkans, this stew gets better by the hour and can be refrigerated for up to three days.

It’s spiced with crushed red pepper flakes, or bukovo, as it’s called in Greece after a Balkan village. This is a dish rarely found in fancy restaurants or mainstream tavernas. Instead, most of the time you will only be able to savour it at home.

Filling and delicious, cabbage pork stew was once upon a time the main dish served in Greece’s Macedonia, Epirus and Thrace regions on Christmas Day. Relatives told me they used to serve it with pickled cabbage for the Holidays, rather than fresh.

So far, we have only cooked this with fresh cabbage. But we do often replace pork with beef as the kids prefer it that way. Which one you use, is up to you.

How hot is your Cabbage and Pork Stew

You can either use hot crushed red pepper flakes or ordinary ones. In any case the dish is spicy.

Your starting point is similar to our Kokkinisto Stew Recipe.

The ideal cuts for this dish are:

For pork, sirloin and ham.

For beef, round (also called topside/silverside) or rump (also called Thick Flank) & brisket.

The meat should be cut in large cubes, an inch or larger.

You want to pay a bit of attention to the first stages.  They ensure your meat keeps the right amount of moisture and comes out nice and tender.

If you use the steam pot you will need to let it cook for around 1.5 hours from the moment you seal it. If you plan to use an insta pot follow the relevant instructions.

Success! You're on the list.

Greek Cabbage and Pork or Cabbage & Beef Stew

0 from 0 votes
Course: FAMILY FEAST, SIMPLE MAINSCuisine: Greek, BalkanDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time




Total time





A hearty winter warmer popular in Northern Greece.


  • 1 kg pork or beef (see above for cuts) cubed

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 1 onion, grated or finely cut

  • 1 cup tomato juice/passata

  • 1 large white cabbage (or 2 small ones)

  • 1 tbsp crushed red pepper plakes

  • salt, pepper


  • Place a large cooking pan on medium-high heat.
  • Wash the meat, drain and drop in the pan.
  • Sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt and brown all sides.
  • Add the olive oil and sautee the meat for a minute.
  • Add the onions, sautee for another minute.
  • Add the tomato juice and mix.
  • Add 4 cups of water or enough to cover the meat. Add a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of pepper and stir.
  • Bring to the boil.
  • Meanwhile remove the top leaves from the cabbage, slice it generously and halve or quarter the slices. Wash and drain the cabbage in a colander.
  • Add the cabbage to the pan.
  • Sprinkle with a tablespoon of red pepper flakes.
  • Lower the heat to medium-low, cover with a lid leaving a crack for the steam to escape and let the food simmer for a couple of hours.
  • Half and hour before this, stir with a wooden spoon, try the meat to see if it’s anywhere near tender and check the seasoning. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
  • You can serve piping hot as soon as it’s ready but it will possibly taste better if you let it rest for a few hours and reheat.

Leave a Reply