Beef with Quince (Moschari me Kydonia)

I’d never met a quince until I started hanging around with Greeks. Quince are mostly used cooked in desserts as they are a bit too sour to eat out of hand. I’m not big on desserts, so quince mostly stayed under my radar screen until I had this savoury quince dish. Now I’m hooked!

quince for beef with quince greek recipe moschari me kydonia


2 lb chuck roast, trimmed of fat and cut into 2 inch pieces (Here’s my advice about stew meat.)
2 onions, chopped roughly, or just halved and sliced
4-5 tomatoes (about 1 – 1.5 pounds) grated or pureed
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1-2 bay leaves
1 stick cinammon
1 cup dry white wine
1 – 2 lb quince ( Depends on how much quince you want in your stew. I’d use about a pound or a little more.)
1 TB sugar
olive oil
butter (optional)

Cook It!

Toss the meat chunks with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Sear in 2 TB oil until well browned on at least two sides. Do this in batches so that the meat sears instead of steaming. The meat chunks should not be touching. Set the meat aside in a bowl.

browning beef for greek recipe beef with quince moschari me kydonia

Add onions and saute. As the onions give up their moisture, the brown gunk on the bottom of the pan will soften and you will be able to scrape it up and mix it into the onions.

Saute onions for greek recipe mosxari me kydonia beef with quince

When the onions have softened up some, 5-10 minutes, add the meat back to the pot along with any juices in the bowl.

adding browned beef to the pot for greek recipe mosxari me kydonia beef with quince

Add the grated tomato and the 1 cup dry white wine. I forgot to take a picture of pouring the wine in, so please just visualize a low-quality photo of white wine being poured into a pot of stew.

Add tomato puree to greek recipe mosxari me kydonia beef with quince

Add the bay leaves and cinammon stick.

Adding bay leaf and cinammon to beef with quince for greek recipe moschari me kydonia.

Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 1 hour. While the beef simmers, wash, peel and core the quince. Cut it into wedges or thick slices. Quince are much tougher than their cousin the apple, so feel free to curse a lot while you’re doing this. Try to remain calm when the pieces break up instead of allowing you to form nice wedges.

quince cut into wedges for greek recipe beef with quince moschari me kythonia.

Toss with 1 TB sugar. Saute in oil or butter until light golden brown on both sides. (Butter is extra yummy!) Set aside on a paper towel lined plate.

sauteeing quince for greek recipe beef with quince mosxari me kythonia.

When beef has simmered for 1 hour, add the quince and continue to simmer for 1 hour more.

Adding quince to the pot of beef stew with quince, the greek recipe for moschari me kydonia.

Serve with crusty bread to soak up the sauce. Leftovers freeze beautifully.

the beef with quince, greek recipe moschari me kydonia, is done and ready to eat

It’s not glamous-looking, that’s for sure, but the tartness of the quince makes it zingier than you’d expect. This is NOT a boring beef stew!


  1. Comment by Peter G

    Why welcome back! It’s good to see a beautiful recipe like this from you. Kydonia are a pain but delcious when cooked.

    Peter G’s last blog post..What’s in a word? And some new toys.

  2. Comment by Ivy

    Welcome back Lulu with such a wonderful recipe. You were missed.

    Ivy’s last blog post..Being a tourist in my town

  3. Comment by Peter

    Lulu, good to see you to blogging…welcome back! I’m Greek and I only started cooking with quince last year and I adore them!

    Email me when you have a chance.

    Peter’s last blog post..If I Owned a Steakhouse in Greece

  4. Comment by Bellini Valli

    This dish looks wonderful Lulu. I love it when fruits and the main blend together in harmony to make delicious dishes like this:D

    Bellini Valli’s last blog post..Celebrate World Nutella Day….. Mascarpone Brownies with Nutella & Toasted Hazelnut Topping

  5. Comment by Lulu

    @1 Peter G – I’m glad it’s not just my imagination that kydonia are a pain!

    @2 Ivy – Thanks! Looking forward to catching up with you!

    @3 Peter – Will do!

    @4 Bellini Valli – I do too. I’m bad about eating a daily fruit, so I love it when a fruit can just be part of a dish, if that makes any sense.

  6. Comment by FoodJunkie

    Welcome back! We missed you! I love this dish, with beef or pork, quince is just delicious.

    FoodJunkie’s last blog post..Spiced chocolate truffles/ ?????????? ??????? ?????????

  7. Comment by Paula

    Lulu’s back, Lulu’s back! Oh, I was so happy to log in and see your post! Hope you are well. I’ve never even seen quince let along tasted it, but it sure does look great in this dish! :-)

    Paula’s last blog post..Take A Walk On The Wild Side! Spicy Sausage and Shrimp with Creamy Grits

  8. Comment by Lulu

    @6 FoodJunkie – Ah, pork, now there’s an idea! Similar to the pork with apples tradition we have here, but tangier. Are there any traditional dishes with pork and quince that are favorites of yours?

    @7 Paula – Heh, thanks for the welcome, Paula! :-)

  9. Comment by Laurie Constantino

    Yummy, yummy, yummy, you have quince in your tummy! I also made quince for the first time this year and was most pleasantly surprised by how good it was. And no doubt about it – quince is a pain.

    Laurie Constantino’s last blog post..Two Recipes for Bagna Càuda (??? ???????? ??? ?????? ???????)

  10. Comment by Lulu

    Hi Laurie! If you too think quince is a pain, then I know I’m not imagining it!

  11. Comment by maria

    welcome back lulu after that long hibernation period, and you’re still cooking mama’s food!

  12. Comment by maria

    Welcome back Lulu! That’s a wonderful dish–I just tried cooking with quince for the first time a couple of weeks ago too. A wonderful dish for you to come back to us with!

    maria’s last blog post..Biftekia Gemista–Stuffed Beef Burgers

  13. Comment by Lulu

    @ 12 Thanks, Maria! I’d love to see quince more generally available in the stores; it’s so great to cook with.

  14. Comment by Lulu

    @11 Maria – Yes, hibernation is definitely right! Much as I love food, I seemto love sleep more, especially in the middle of winter!

  15. Comment by manju

    You came back while I was hibernating…and with another delectable recipe, too. I almost choked on my coffee this a.m. from laughing over your cutting and coring quince exposition! ; ) I’ve never been tempted to cook with this fruit b/c as you said most recipes are for sweets, but this entree sounds delish. We’re going to give it a try with chicken (my dad’s visiting and beef is a no-no for him).

    manju’s last blog post..Roasted Belgian Endive

  16. Comment by Lulu

    @15: I bet this would be great with chicken. I’d also like to something with quince and pork; I think it might be even better than the classic pork and apple combination.

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