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Member recipe

Beef Stifado

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(49 ratings)

Member recipe by


Serves 6

This is a popular Greek dish, really rich sauce with lots of flavour serve with roast potatoes or just some nice crusty bread.

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  • 800grams - 1kg of lean beef cubed
  • 500 grams of shallots
  • 1 large Onion
  • 2 tomatoes
  • Garlic Cloves (to taste) I used 4 cloves
  • Cloves 3-4
  • vegatable stock cube
  • small wine glass of extra virgin olive oil
  • Glass of Red Wine
  • 2 tbsp of red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp of tomato puree/paste
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp of ground nutmeg
  • 4 bay leaves
  • black pepper
  • salt


    1. put meat in a frying pan and sear the meat then add the olive oil, onions and garlic leave until onions start to go soft (about 5 minutes)
    2. Then add the glass of red wine and 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, cover and leave for 5 minutes
    3. then add your cinnamon, stock cube, cloves, nutmeg, bay leaves, rosemary, tomato puree and salt and pepper to taste. keep stirring to let all your ingredients mix together.
    4. then finally add your chopped tomatoes and continue stirring for 5 minutes,
    5. then transfer to a clay pot or casserole dish and add about 1/4 - 1/2 litre of water, be careful not to drown the sauce, then cook for at least one hour in the oven on a moderate heat, keeping checking you dont want it to dry out and add water if needed you are aiming for a thick rich sauce texture,
    6. whilst cooking place your 500 grams of shallots into hot water to soften the skin and peel, then fry these in a little olive oil, be careful not to burn them, just aim to soften them and add a little colour, add these to Stifado after one hour of cooking in the oven and then add them to the pot and cook for a further 1 hour until the meat is tender.

Comments, questions and tips

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4th Feb, 2019
I've been using a waitrose recipe for this dish but that's gone in the bin - this is far better. Absolutely delicious. I batch fried the beef in a hob-to-oven casserole dish first, set aside, then softened the onion & garlic in the casserole dish before returning the beef to the mix. I also didn't pre-fry the shallots and they were fine, just saved washing an extra pan! I cooked in a fan oven at 180c but next time I'll reduce to 160c as liquid evaporated quite quickly and I needed to top up. Yum, yum!
16th Jan, 2019
Delicious. This is amazing done with rabbit too. It can also be stirred through pasta to make the Corfu dish Pastasada.
Cassie Screen's picture
Cassie Screen
8th Sep, 2018
Really rich tasty dish that was loved by all the family! 800g beef was perfect for 4 people. Recipe did'nt state whether to cook with casserole lid on - i removed the lid 30 mins before finish time to reduce sauce further. I would reduce the amount of olive oil used next time. Great with roast potatoes!
Camilla Neil's picture
Camilla Neil
25th Mar, 2018
This recipe is DELICIOUS. I discovered beef stifado in Cyprus and wanted to try making it. Have made this beef stifado 4x in the past month!
14th Nov, 2017
Absolutely delicious! Very easy, I followed the recipe exactly just halving the meat and shallot quantities for the 2 of us, and it made a lovely rich sauce taking me right back to our holidays in Greece.
29th Dec, 2016
Cooked this for my family today, wasn't sure that it would be a rich sauce and that the meat would be tender after 2 hours but it was. My kids even loves it so it was a hit all round. I will definitely make this again and will throw it all in the slow cooker and leave all day long. I followed the recipe exactly and used 1/4 litre of water and added half a tin of chopped tomatoes in addition to the suggested recipe , I think next time I will add 1/2 a litre so there is a little more sauce for dipping the bread into. Serves six with no leftovers and I used 1kg of lean diced casserole beef
19th Aug, 2016
Love Greek food and this recipe is delicious, I usually cook it in my slow cooker for several hours, a hassle free dish when entertaining
25th Jul, 2016
Although the instructions need slight interpretation, this overall recipe is great. Having eaten loads of variations of Stifado, generally in Cyprus, this is certainly up with the best. I did not use the quantity of olive oil suggested as others before me. I used slightly more onions for extra richness. This will become a regular for me now. Thanks for publishing it.
25th Jun, 2016
Very, very tasty. Having had beef stifado in Greece some years ago I've tried many recipes to try to replicate this dish at home. Up til now I've been disappointed, but having tried this recipe, its the best one I've come across so far. To keep the fat content down I used just 2 tbsp of olive oil and it didn't affect the end result. Served it with a feta salad. Would be great with flatbread too.
Mrs MM
13th Jun, 2016
Fabulous , I cooked it the day before , put in fridge overnight and skimmed off the coagulated fat on the top. i would always cook a dish like this ahead of time as I think flavours improve but I would reduce the oil content . Top recipe


23rd Mar, 2016
I plan to make this for Easter Sunday when I have family round, what cut of beef should I buy? Thank you
22nd Feb, 2016
How long should I cook this and at what setting if I cook it in my slow cooker?
9th Oct, 2015
Why do you need to use so much Olive Oil. Would it not be possible to use less?
29th Dec, 2016
I only used 2 tablespoons and it was fine
11th Feb, 2016
I use just enough olive oil to slightly fry the ingredients and it's always simply perfect!
8th Aug, 2013
Hi, going to cook this tonight, is there a substitute for the red wine vinegar? Also with the cinnamon sticks do u add and then remove or grind them? Last question.... how long would I cook this for in a slow cooker and would it be a low, medium or high heat? Thanks! Sam
29th Dec, 2016
I forgot to remove the bay leaves and cinnamon sticks.... My family just picked them out. Maybe if cooking for guests then pop the bay leaves and cinnamon stick on the top so easy to remove? I cooked in the oven but would probably do this all day on low in a slow cooker or half day in high/medium?
Donna Meacham's picture
Donna Meacham
1st Dec, 2018
This recipe is gorgeous I also make it with a leg of lamb which is equally delicious but I don’t use quite as much oil and I add a little more red wine and cinnamon powder as well as the sticks