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Beef stifado

Stifado is famous in Greece and the Greek Islands as a traditional, fragrant stew and one that is a firm family favourite!

★★★★★ Rated 4.8 out of 5 stars. 4 Ratings
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  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Serves 4


Total time
3 Hrs 15 Mins
Preparation time
15 Mins
Cooking time
3 Hrs
  • extra virgin olive oil

  • 500g stewing beef (chopped into 2inch square pieces give or take)

  • 500g baby onions

  • sugar (just a pinch)

  • 6 new potatoes (about a handful), halved

  • 130g chopped tomatoes (1/3 of a tin)

  • 1 tbsp tomato puree, heaped

  • 1 tbsp ground cumin

  • ½ tbsp cinnamon, ground

  • 3 cinnamon sticks (about 2 inches long)

  • nutmeg (a few grates), grated

  • 3 bay leaves

  • garlic (3x cloves), sliced

  • 12 black peppercorns (whole)

  • 5 whole cloves

  • 60ml red wine vinegar

  • 90ml red wine

  • 500ml stock (or water)

  • fresh parsley (to garnish), chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 170'C (if using) or slow cooker to LOW

  2. In a hot pan add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and sear the stewing beef to give some colour - do it in batches so not to overcrowd the pan

  3. Once browned set aside

  4. In the same pan add enough oil to cover the base of the pan (part of this dish is about enjoying the flavour of the extra virgin olive oil so don't hold back!) and add your onions, a small pinch of sugar and fry until the onions start to caramelise

  5. Then add all the dry ingredients (except the parsley) and fry for a minute before adding the vinegar and wine

  6. Bring to the boil, then add your beef and any juices back into the pan, pour in enough stock to just cover the ingredients

  7. Pop in the oven for 3 hours or slow cooker for 6 hours (or as instructed for stewing steak by the manufacturer)

  8. Once cooked, remove from the oven, add the chopped parsley, season and serve!

  9. Goes well with rice or if you've added lots of new potatoes just put it straight in a bowl

You will need

Slow cooker - You can pop it in the oven for three hours or slow cooker for six. We highly recommend this one from Morphy Richards that's available at Amazon .


This is a great dish to slow cook and we've included a few shortcuts to make it easier for a busy family household. Stifado translates as a stew with lots of onions! If you want to go really native you can replace the beef with rabbit but beef has always been a very popular version.

If you want to use more beef simply increase the amount of onions by the same - the meat and onions should be of equal portions.

If you haven't got all the spices don't panic! As long as you add the cinnamon you'll get a similar (and still delicious) stew


Rather than using whole baby onions you can simply slice regular white cooking onions to save time

If making for children you can omit the black peppercorns

If making for the family and you want a one pot dish, just add more potatoes instead of making rice or pasta (using rice or potatoes also makes this dish gluten free).

For a veggie version, simply swap the chicken for mushrooms or Quorn pieces.


★★★★★ Rated 4.8 out of 5 stars. 4 Ratings
Rate this recipe
  • Lorraine J(10)

    ★★★★★ Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

    My favourite dish on holiday in Greece

    Reviewed on 02/10/15

  • Guest

    ★★★★☆ Rated 4 out of 5 stars.

    Tried this tonight and was amazed at how easy it was to cook - and how tasty it was. Kids and hubby wolfed it down

    Reviewed on 30/09/15

  • Guest

    ★★★★★ Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

    I made this last night. Didn't have any potatoes so served it with rice. Family loved it.

    Reviewed on 18/03/15

  • Guest

    ★★★★★ Rated 5 out of 5 stars.


    Reviewed on 17/03/15

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