Beef Stifado

How to make a Beef Stifado.

This is a traditional Greek meat stew, it can be made with beef, pork or rabbit. It always contains lots of little onions, cooked whole, and can be served with some short macaroni style pasta if you fancy or boiled potatoes.

Ingredients: Serves 4-6

  • 1 kg chuck steak, cut into large chunks
  • 500 g pickling onions, peeled and left whole
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 4 ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped or 400 g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano or parsley leaves (optional), to serve
  • salt
  • black pepper

For the marinade:

  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 3cm/1inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp allspice berries
  • 0.5 tsp coriander seeds
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 strip of thinly pared orange peel
  • 300 ml red wine


  1. Put the beef in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add all the marinade ingredients, then cover and marinate for several hours or overnight.
  3. When you’re ready to start cooking, heat the olive oil in a large flameproof casserole dish.
  4. Add the onions and cook them over a medium heat, shaking regularly, until they have taken on some colour on all sides.
  5. Remove them from the casserole.
  6. Strain the beef, reserving the marinade, and pat it dry.
  7. Add a splash more olive oil to the casserole if necessary and sear the beef until well browned.
  8. You may have to do this in a couple of batches.
  9. Return the meat and the onions to the pan.
  10. Add the reserved marinade to the casserole.
  11. Mix the tomato purée with a little water, and add this to the casserole, together with the tomatoes and honey.
  12. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper.
  13. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat to a low simmer.
  14. Cover the casserole with a lid and cook the stifado for 1–1½ hours until the meat and onions are tender.
  15. Stir at intervals, turning over the meat each time.
  16. prinkle with fresh oregano or parsley leaves if you like.
  17. Serve and enjoy!
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