This is my mother’s Lemonato, the best I have ever tasted. Although this dish is commonly cooked at home all over Greece, it is rarely included in cookbooks.
One of my aunts used to make this with no other liquid but lemon juice, and her version was also delicious. But it contained no potatoes, which I think is a great disadvantage because the best part of Lemonato is the potatoes.
In any case, the secret of this dish’s success it to keep the heat really low and to simmer the veal for hours.
In a heavy nonstick pan, sauté the onions in most of the olive oil over medium heat until transparent, about 3 minutes. Add the veal and brown on all sides. Pour in the wine, bring to a boil and boil for a few minutes, then add the water, sugar, lemon juice, and garlic. Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, adding more water if needed.
While the veal is simmering, heat the remaining small amount of oil in a heavy skillet and fry the potatoes until they are golden brown. Don’t worry about cooking them through because they will finish cooking with the veal.
Remove the meat from the pan and carefully slice it. Return the meat slices to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and continue simmering for another hour, adding a little water from time to time as needed.
Add the potatoes to the pan and simmer for another 30 to 45 minutes, or until the veal is very tender and potatoes are soft. Serve hot.
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