Beef Stefado is my ultimate comfort food. This hearty Greek stew is packed with aromatic herbs and spices and will warm your senses and your tummy on the coldest of nights. For me it will transport me from the snowy cold we have here in Scotland to my beloved Agia Galini with just one taste.
Just the smell of stefado cooking makes my mouth water. I love stew at the best of times, actually I have been known to eat it cold from the pot and this used to drive my Mum mad.
The best beef stefado uses little pearl onions. Now I know these are a pain in the arse to peel, but they do have a terrific flavour (much better than a normal onion) and give the dish authenticity. I promise you it is worth all the fiddling about peeling the little buggers. Having said that, if you can’t get hold of any just use sliced up normal onions instead.
Time is your major component in this recipe. Give your beef stefado lots of time to cook, it may seem like this recipe takes forever, but it is SO worth the wait. Don’t rush things, when it goes into the oven just go off and do something else and let time do all the cooking for you.
Once you’ve tasted beef stefado no stew will ever be the same I promise you.
- 1 kilo/2 1/4lb stewing steak cubed
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 cloves
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 6 allspice berries
- 2 carrots chopped
- 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 175 ml/3/4 cup red wine
- 2 tbsp tomato puree diluted in 1 lt/1 3/4 pints water
- 600 g/1lb pearl onions peeled
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp dried orange peel
- salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 160C/325F
- Sear the beef in a hot pan with oil on all sides for 1-3 mins till sealed
- Add garlic, spices, herbs, carrots and orange peel and saute for 1 minute
- Add the wine and vinegar and saute for further 5 minutes
- Add diluted tomato puree and cover the pan
- Cook in oven for 2 hours
- Remove from oven and add the onions, honey and seasoning, put the lid back on and put in back in the oven for a further 1 hour.
- Remove pan from oven and take off lid and cook on the hob for further 20 mins to reduce the liquid.
- Serve with mashed potato, chips or a salad.