I first tried beef stifado whilst on holiday in Vasilikos on the beautiful island of Zakynthos. We arrived only to find most restaurants had closed due to an all inclusive hotel. After walking for about 30 minutes on a long dusty track we stumbled upon the most amazing family restaurant. Gallini’s offered delicious authentic Greek food. This memory has never been forgotten and this recipe is one my mum has created inspired by the flavours we tried at Gallini’s and it’s a recipe we’ve been cooking for many years.
500g lean stewing beef, cut into small cubes
500g baby onions
1 litre tomato passata/chopped tomatoes
1 small wine glass of red wine (approx. 150ml)
2 tablespoons olive oil
150ml water, plus extra if needed
6 large garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
Small handful whole peppercorns
Large handful fresh thyme leaves
4 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
100g feta crumbled
1. Place all the ingredients apart from the feta cheese in a large deep baking dish. Stir and then cover with tin foil. Cook in the oven for an hour at 180 degrees Fan/200°C/450°F/Gas Mark 6.
2. After an hour, turn the oven temperature down to 160 degrees Fan/180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and cook the stifado for further 4 hours or until the sauce is thick and glossy and the meat is fork tender. Add a splash of water to adjust the consistency of the sauce if needed.
3. Half an hour before serving, crumble and stir in the feta cheese. Place back in the oven for another 30 minutes and then serve piping hot with some cooked rice or orzo.
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