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Stifado (Greek Beef Stew)

submitted by sarahjane on Oct-21-04
average rating: 3.0 (from 1 votes)
(this recipe is good for dinner)
servings: (not specified)

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.

steveandsarah, Mar-2-07 03:56:53:
This was really tasty...the spices give it a rich, complex flavour that was evocative of the Indian beef curries my Dad used to make. The only problem was that our beef ended up being a bit dry and never got meltingly tender, as I'd hoped. Perhaps we didn't cook it long enough, or didn't use the right kind of beef (although it was sold as "stewing beef").

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