Beef stifado is a traditional and comforting beef stew that is ideal for cooler weather. Made with tender chunks of beef, red wine, baby onions, cinnamon and vinegar - it’s hearty and rich with a distinct aroma. Serve it over rice, mashed potatoes or noodles - and don’t forget the red wine!
Stifado (pronounced Sti-Fa-Tho in Greek) is a Greek beef stew - typically made with tomatoes, onions and some type of meat.
Making a traditional beef stifado is easy - the only laborious part is peeling the baby onions or shallots. Once all the ingredients have been combined, you can "set it and forget it" for a few hours.
Stifado traditionally uses rabbit - known as rabbit stifado.
Related: Try my Lamb Fricassee Recipe
I had purchased a whole heap of chuck steak from the butchers recently and preferred to use this in my preparation of this dish.
Chuck steak is ideal (and a very cheap cut of meat) for stewing and braising because it has connective tissue and collagen, which melts during the cooking process.
Related: Try my soutzoukakia recipe
I also substituted whole eschalots instead of baby onions. The secret trick with this dish is the beef stifado marinade. Marinate your meat, preferably overnight, to really enjoy its distinctive, unique aroma.
Once cooked it all comes together beautifully. It's hearty, rich and very satisfying!
- 1 kg chuck steak, cut into even cubes
- 750 grams onions, boiler onions / eschallots / baby onions (peeled)
- 1 tbsp tomato paste, heaped
FOR THE MARINADE:
- ¾ cup red wine
- 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 5 whole cloves
- 2 teaspoons allspice berries
- salt and freshly cracked pepper
- Place the chuck steak in a non reactive bowl along with the marinade and refrigerate for a minimum of 6 hours or preferably overnight.
- Heat some olive oil in a large sauce pan and saute the eschalots for about 10 mins. We want them to soften a little and get lovely and caramelised. Remove them with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Saute the chuck steak until it has browned in the same saucepan. Add the onions back along with the marinade mixture, the tomato paste and enough water to cover everything.
- Bring to the boil and then leave to simmer for about 2 hours or until the sauce has a lovely rich, thick consistency.
- Serve with some plain steamed rice and a big glass of Aussie shiraz!