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Member recipe

Beef Stifado

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(58 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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Josie Luderman's picture
Josie Luderman
15th May, 2020
Excellent recipe. However, don’t do what I did and ignore the comments about the oil. It is far too much. When tasting it burnt my husband’s lip xD. Had to spoon off a lot of the oil sitting on top, it was not good! Use half or less of the recommended oil and it is beautiful! Especially with Greek wedges, as I had them in Greece.
1st Mar, 2020
Really really tasty. Used a slow roast beef joint cut into 4. Didn’t use as much oil, left in slow cooker all day. Amazing!
Chrystella Walchli's picture
Chrystella Walchli
7th Sep, 2019
Followed this recipe exactly- including the clay pot, and even though I had rather tough beef (here on a Greek island), it was not only very tender but tasted amazing! Thank you
22nd Aug, 2019
OMG just amazing. Only changes I made (due to lack of ingredients that I THOUGHT I had!!) - tomato ketchup instead of puree (shame as puree would've given depth of flavour), 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon instead of a stick and chucked the shallots in raw and halved an hour before the end. Cooked on 180c for 2.5 hours in fan oven with lid on. Kids and husband loved it. Served with rice.
22nd Aug, 2019
Hi, I have just put this in the oven but have noticed people are mentioning there being a lot of olive oil in it. I just sautéd the ingredients with olive oil but as there was no quantity mentioned in the ingredients I was wondered if I had missed something? I hope it will still be okay .
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.


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?
1st Mar, 2020
If the dish is too oily. Lay a large lettuce leaf carefully on the surface. Leave for 5 minutes and it’ll soak up the excess oil. Remove and repeat if necessary
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