Recipes Made Easy’s Beef Stifado is based on the classic Greek beef stew. Slow cooked until meltingly tender this Mediterranean dish is full of flavour. It is a dish that I have enjoyed many a time while holidaying on the Greek islands. It’s very easy to make at home although does need a nice long slow cook, so some advance planning is needed.
This dish is really enhanced by marinating the beef before cooking. It can be marinaded for up to 24 hours which means you can prepare it well in advance. The remaining prep is really quick, and then it just has to go into the oven for a few hours to cook until tender which makes it ideal for entertaining.
Somewhere between the marinating and the long slow cook, magic happens and the flavour of this stew is developed. Trust me it is worth the wait. To keep prep time short I cook the meat in large slices, rather than using diced beef. This way you just have a few pieces of meat that need a couple of minutes on each side to brown over a high heat which dramatically cuts down the browning time and the amount of oil needed, so its a win win. When served the meat can easily be broken into smaller pieces.
Instead of using chopped tomatoes I have used a can of small whole cherry tomatoes which I think works particularly well but it work well with whole or chopped tomatoes.
Traditionally beef stifado is served with orzo pasta, rice or chips. I like the last option best as it reminds me of the times I ate it in Greece and although I usually opt for oven roasted chips rather than fried
and with a glass of red wine and I can almost imagine I’m on holiday again. The stew can also be cooked in a slow cooker on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours
A classic Greek casserole of beef. Traditionally served with Orzo pasta, rice or chips. Put the meat to marinade the day before if possible.
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 kg braising steak, sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsp thyme
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- 100 ml red wine
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 3-4 small onions, cut into wedges
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 400 g can cherry tomatoes (or chopped tomatoes)
- 2 tbsp tomato puree (tomato paste)
- 1 beef stock cube
Place the herbs cinnamon stick , red wine and vinegar in a shallow non metallic dish. Add the beef and turn in the marinade. Cover and allow to marinate for at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours
- Preheat the oven to 180℃ (170℃ fan)/350°F /gas mark 4.
Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a frying pan add the onions and fry until soften. stir in garlic cook 1 minute then transfer to an oven proof casserole.
Drain the beef reserving marinade, pat dry on kitchen paper. Heat the remaining oil in the pan and brown the beef slices on both sides then add to the casserole dish.
Add reserved marinade, tomatoes, tomato puree, stock cube and 150ml (1¼ pt/⅔ cup) to the pan and bring to the boil. Pour over meat, cook for 2½-3 hours or until the meat is tender.
The tomato based sauce should be rich and thick. If it looks like it is drying out too much stir in a little extra water.