Kavourmas is a traditional preserved meat that is found mainly in Northern Greece, Thrace in particular. Its name comes from the Turkish word kavurma, which means to roast, a technique for preserving meat that has been in use since medieval times at least.
Kavourmas can be made with many types of meat: veal, water buffalo, pork, lamb or kid. The production method is as follows: First the meat is salted to draw off the moisture, then it is cooked over low heat with spices (nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, cloves) and lightly browned in fat. It is kept in crocks covered with this cooking fat.
Amorgos is a small exception to the monopoly North Greece has on this delicacy. Here it is made only with pork, lightly seasoned with oregano, bay leaves and just a little allspice.
Recipe for omelette with kavourmas from Amorgos
Lean pork is cut into small pieces and marinatedwith the seasonings in oil for 2-3 hours. In the same or a separate pan, pork fat is melted and the meat is cooked slowly in it until it becomes very very tender. Then meat and fat are poured into a pottery crock or other container, covered and stored in a cool spot or in the refrigerator. When you want to eat it, take the kavourmas and cook it up on its own with a little of the fat or combine it with eggs, or pasta or pulses. It is also good cold, spread on slices of fresh bread, like paté.
You can find kavourmas on the menu in two or three establishments in Kato Meria; we sampled Vangelitsa’s version at the Ston Pyrgo café.