Preparation / Directions:
In a large, heavy skillet, heat oil and butter over moderate heat. Raise heat to high and brown meat, one third at a time, removing meat to a large, heavy casserole (preferably with an enamel or porcelain coating) as it browns.
Add minced onion to skillet, sauté just until wilted, and spoon into casserole. Add tomato paste, wine, vinegar, the water, garlic, bay leaf, oregano, cinnamon, cumin, and sugar to the casserole. Stir well and add cayenne, salt, and pepper, to taste. Bring just to a boil, cover tightly, lower heat, and simmer 1 hour.
Add white boiling onions and simmer, covered, until meat is very tender (about 1 hour longer). Degrease stew if necessary and carefully correct seasonings; stir in nuts. Sprinkle feta cheese over stew, pushing it gently into top of liquid with a wooden spoon. Cover and simmer to melt cheese (about 5 minutes longer).
Sprinkle parsley on top and serve stew in deep soup bowls, making sure that everyone gets some nuts and cheese, but leaving some room in each bowl for rice to be added. Have hot-pepper sauce on hand, to be added as desired.