A Beef Stifado is basically a Greek stew. But, it tastes completely different from the stews we are used to. It’s full of red wine, loads of spices and flavours, so it’s an almost fruity taste. Very different from my left-over Sunday lunch beef stock type stew.
I love Greek food. I’ve been to Rhodes and Kos, and one of my favourite things about being there was the food. It’s all so full of flavour, and all of the meat is beautifully melt in your mouth tender. I’m dying to go with Husband and just basically spend a week eating everything we can.
I’ve made Greek Chicken Wraps quite a lot; it’s one of our favourites. But, where a chicken souvlaki wrap is quite summery, with its fresh, crunchy salad and tangy tzatziki, Beef Stifado is a gorgeous, comforting winter meal. Proper homely, warming food that’s perfect for this time of year. The ingredient list might look quite long, but honestly, it’s very much a throw it all in type meal, just in two phases and it’s definitely worth investing in the spices as you’ll use them in lots of other things. My poor, tiny kitchen is currently overrun with little spice bottles and different kinds of flours. It’s getting a bit silly, and I’ve vowed to go to IKEA for a set of shelves or drawers to try and fit somewhere! Well worth it for all the yummy food I’m experimenting with though.
For the Marinade:
- ½ Bottle of red wine
- 4tbsp Red Wine vinegar
- 4 Cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2tsp Ground cloves
- 1tsp Allspice mix
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1 Orange, Zest, and juice
- 1 Cinnamon stick
For the Stew:
- 700g Diced beef
- 15 Shallots
- 4 Carrots
- 400g Chopped Tomatoes
- 2tbsp Tomato puree
- 1tbsp Caster sugar
- Pinch salt and pepper
- Cooking oil
You also need a large ovenproof casserole dish. My mother in law very kindly lent me her Le Creuset, which was perfect! And a large, lidded Tupperware box for the marinading. A cling filmed mixing bowl will do however.
We served our Beef Stifado with big slabs of homemade crusty bread and mash potato. Because a stew needs potato and bread. But, if you aren’t as much as a carb addict as I am, just one would do You could even eat it on its own. But that would be silly!
For the best results, marinade your beef overnight. If you are in a rush, a few hours will do, but overnight really is best as it gives the beef a chance to absorb all of the flavours.
To prepare the marinade, add the beef to a large bowl or tub. Pour in the wine and vinegar, add the garlic, bay leaves, allspice, cloves cinnamon and orange juice and zest. Stir and cover. Place in the fridge until you are ready to cook.
I’d try to leave it for at least 2 hours, but overnight is best.
When you are ready to cook, drain the beef, but keep the marinade, removing the cinnamon and bay leaves. Pat the beef dry with kitchen roll or a clean tea towel. Then, peel the shallots. This is really easy if you place them in a bowl and cover with boiling water for 5 minutes. Then just chop the top and bottom off and the skin comes away easily.
Peel and roughly chop the carrots.
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees and heat a good glug of cooking oil in your ovenproof dish, on the hob.
Add the beef and gently fry until browned. Some of the garlic may have stuck to it. That’s fine.
Once the beef is browned, add the shallots, carrots, marinade, chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, sugar and salt and pepper and mix well.
Place the lid on your dish and bake in the oven for 2 and ½ hours. I prepped my Beef Stifado earlier in the day, so just gave it 2 hours, then put it back in for 30mintues when we were ready to eat.
This is such a yummy meal, the flavours are unique, and it’s extremely warming on a cold night. Perfect!
Greek Beef Stifado Recipe
For the Marinade:
- • ½ Bottle of red wine
- • 4tbsp Red Wine vinegar
- • 4 Cloves garlic finely chopped
- • 1/2tsp Ground cloves
- • 1tsp Allspice mix
- • 2 Bay Leaves
- • 1 Orange Zest and juice
- • 1 Cinnamon stick
For the Stew:
- • 700g Diced beef
- • 15 Shallots
- • 4 Carrots
- • 400g Chopped Tomatoes
- • 2tbsp Tomato puree
- • 1tbsp Caster sugar
- • Pinch salt and pepper
- • Cooking oil
- for the marinade, place the diced beef in a lidded tub. Add the wine, vinegar, garlic, cloves, allspice, orange juice and zest, cinnamon and bay leaves.
- Mix well, cover and place in the fridge overnight
- To make the stew, peel and chop the carrots and peel the shallots
- Drain the beef, keeping the marinade and discarding the bay leaves and cinnamon
- Pat the beef dry with kitchen roll
- Preheat the oven to 160 degrees and heat a good glug of oil in a large, lidded ovenproof dish
- Brown the beef
- Add the shallots, carrots, marinade, chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, sugar and a pinch of salt and pepper
- Stir well
- Cover and bake in the oven for 2.5 hours