Stifado ((traditional Greek beef stew with whole onions)

Stifado is one of our most favorite dishes usually served on Sundays or feasts. It’s a very rich dish, intense in flavor, mostly due to the fact that it has quite a lot of onions in it. And we’re not talking about one or two!



1 kg beef cut into medium size pieces

1 ½ dozen baby onions

3-4 garlic cloves finely chopped

1 can chopped tomatoes

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons esti balsamic vinegar

1 cinnamon stick

2 bay leaves

3-4 allspice berries

3-4 whole cloves

esti extra virgin olive oil




Peel the onions and leave them whole.

Heat some oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onions carefully until slightly soft. Take them out of the pan and set aside.  Put the meat in the saucepan with the garlic and sauté until it is browned on all sides. Return the onions to the saucepan and add the tomatoes and tomato paste, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves and allspice berries. Add enough water to cover the meat. Season it with salt and pepper. Let it simmer with the saucepan covered for at least two hours until the meat is tender. After one hour of cooking add the vinegar and continue simmering. After the recommended time the sauce must be thickened. If not then continue simmering for 5-10 minutes more with the saucepan uncovered this time. In the end you will have a rich thick sauce and all onions will still be whole.

Serve with a strong but elegant Greek red wine.



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