Beef Stifado

This aromatic Greek stew is the perfect dish for chilly autumn evenings

Serves: 4

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 2 hours 30 min

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Ingredients:

For the marinade:

350ml red wine

5 cloves

1 cinnamon stick, broken in two

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 bay leaves

1 tsp dried oregano

6 allspice berries

4 tbsp red wine vinegar

grated zest and juice of ½ an orange

For the stew:

900g beef chuck steak, cut into 5-7cm pieces

3 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, roughly chopped

2 celery sticks, roughly chopped

1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped

16 shallots, peeled and left whole (submerge in a bowl of boiling water for 1 minute and then plunge into cold water. The skins will slip off easily.)

400g tin chopped tomatoes

1 tbsp tomato purée

½ tbsp sugar

30g currants

salt and freshly-ground black pepper

fresh parsley to serve

Method:

1. Mix together all the ingredients for the marinade then pour it over the beef in a non-metallic bowl, stirring to coat all the pieces. Cover and leave overnight in the fridge to marinate.

2. The following day, preheat the oven to 160ºC/R3. Remove the meat from the marinade, shaking off as much liquid as you can, and dry the pieces with some kitchen paper – try to get the pieces as dry as possible otherwise they will spatter in the fat. Reserve the marinade for later.

3. In a heavy-based, flameproof casserole dish that has a lid, heat the olive oil and brown the meat for 3-4 minutes (in batches if necessary) before setting aside in a bowl. Add the onion, celery, carrot and shallots to the pan and cook gently until the onion is soft. Add a little more oil and a splash of water if the pan is too dry.

4. Pour in the reserved marinade followed by the tomatoes, tomato purée, sugar, currants and the browned meat. Finish with a few grinds of black pepper and a generous pinch of salt. Make sure everything is well combined.

5. Put the lid on the pan and cook in the oven for 2-2½ hours until the sauce has thickened and the beef is tender. Scatter over the chopped parsley and serve with pasta or rice.

Recipe and image taken from Ultimate One-Pot Dishes by Alan Rosenthal, published by Ebury Press, £9.99, available from 1 October

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