Stifado (Greek Beef Stew)

author: sarahjane

created: 2004-10-21 22:55:32



From a book called "Slow Cooking: Not So Fast Food", which is really a sort of greatest hits of food from round the world and well worth checking out. Turns good old beef stew into something sublime. Serve with rice and maybe a spinach salad on the side.


4 tablespoons olive oil 1.8 kg/4 lb stewing beef 1 teaspoon ground cumin 2 onions, finely chopped 3 cloves garlic, crushed 250 ml/1 cup red wine 500 ml/2 cups water 3 tablespoons tomato paste/puree 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar 2 cinnamon sticks 10 cloves 2 bay leaves 2 teaspoons sugar Salt and pepper 1 kg/2 lbs 4 oz pearl onions 4 tablespoons currants 200 g/7 oz feta, cubed Heat half oil in large pan and brown beef in batches, adding more oil as needed. Put beef in a bowl, sprinkle with cumin and set aside. Add more oil and soften chopped onions and garlic over low heat for 5 minutes. Return meat to pot. Stir in wine, increase heat and deglaze the pot. Add water, tomato paste and vinegar and bring to the boil. Add cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves, sugar, salt and pepper.Reduce the heat, cover and simmer over very low heat for one hour. Peel pearl onions and cut a cross in the base. Add to the pot, along with the currants. Continue cooking for 1 1/2 hours, or until beef is very tender and sauce is thick. Discard cinnamon and bay leaves. Stir in cheese and simmer 3-4 minutes, uncovered. Taste for seasoning and serve.