I tried, I really did, to get a photo of the final dish on a serving plate but no matter what angle I took, it looked like meat and 3 veg, not very inspiring at all.  Therefore, no ‘plated up’ shot for this one.  Notwithstanding the lack of photo, it tasted great so I decided to proceed with the post.

This is a perfect dish for a winter’s night.  It is also perfect for entertaining as you can do all the preparation in the morning and let it simmer away whilst you chat with your guests in the evening.  It also suits a slow cooker, for those who have one.

This quantity would easily feed 8.  Maus and I feel like we have been eating it for a life time.

Stifado is a Greek stew with a blend of sweet and sour flavours.  The recipe comes from Slow Cooking by Joanne Glynn.


  • Approx 2 kg of round, chuck or similar beef, cut into 3cm cubes.
  • olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 250mls red wine
  • 3 tbs* tomato paste
  • 4 tbs red wine vinegar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 10 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 kg pickling onions, peeled and with a cross cut into the base.
  • 4 tbs currants
  • 200g feta cheese, cut into cubes

*All tbs are 20 mls.  This is an Australian recipe and we use 20ml tablespoons.

  1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and brown the meat in batches.
  2. Put the browned meat into a cast iron (or similar) casserole dish, sprinkle with cumin and set aside.
  3. Wash the frying pan and heat some more oil.  Add the diced onions and garlic and soften over a low heat for 5-6 minutes.
  4. Stir in the wine, increase the heat and deglaze pan.
  5. Add 500mls of water, tomato paste and wine vinegar and bring to the boil.
  6. Add the cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves and sugar.
  7. Season with salt and coarsely ground black pepper.
  8. Put the casserole dish over the heat.  Pour the contents of the frying pan over meat.  Reduce the heat, cover with a double layer of foil and then cover with the lid.
  9. Simmer over a very low heat for 1 hour or so.
  10. Add the pickling onions and currants to the pot.
  11. Continue cooking at a very low heat until the beef is very tender and the onions are cooked (at least, another hour).
  12. Stir in the feta cheese and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
  13. Taste for seasoning.
  14. Serve with rice or potatoes.

2 thoughts on “Stifado

  1. Oh pickling onions, as in baby ones! I read “pickled onions” and thought…yep, that’s where the sour comes from. 🙂

    Interesting mix of flavours, especially with the feta stirred in at the end! Hehehe…I can just imagine you and Maus trying to eat through a vat of it, especially with your steadfast refusal to throw anything away…

    • Hi Celia, yes baby ones, NOT pickled ones! Yep we got 10 servings out of it. Luckily we had friends over for the first night so that was 4 servings but then we had it for 3 more days. I guess I could have frozen it but with the onions and the cheese I didn’t think it would work.

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