Rich with tomato, red wine and meltingly tender beef this Greek speciality has everything you would want on a cold winters evening, flavoured with cinnamon and bay you can pop in the slow cooker and literally forget it all day.
Now i must confess this is not 'authentic' i have upset the greek gods with this one and added black olives (not traditional... slapped hands) but i really love it with them in.
Include or exclude it's totally up to you.
Ingredients for stifado
1kg of diced stewing steak or skirt
400g banana shallots peeled and quartered retaining the root
1 chopped red pepper
4 fat garlic cloves sliced
1 & 1/2 cinnamon sticks
3 bay leaves
3 heaped tsp dried oregano
1 sprig thyme
500ml beef stock
1 can cherry tomatoes
1/2 tube (70g) tomato puree
1 large glass red wine (250ml)
4 tbsp red wine vinegar
200g black olives halved (optional)
Ingredients for orzo
100g crumbled feta
small bunch fresh mint shredded
Method for stifado
Pan fry beef in olive oil in 2 batches until golden and transfer to slow cooker, now add shallots garlic and red peppers and gently fry until beginning to soften and slightly caremalised around the edges. Transfer to the slow cooker with the beef.
add red wine and vinegar to the frying pan to deglaze any scraps of flavour, bring to a boil and add stock, and tomato puree. stir well until incorporated, add to slow cooker.
Now add tin of cherry tomatoes, olives, bay leaves, cinnamon, oregano and thyme and stir. Turn slow cooker to medium and allow to cook all day!
You'll need a good 8 hrs cooking so if you're planning to eat at 7pm you'll need to have this well on its way cooking just before lunch time.
If you don't have a slow cooker fear not! you can just add to a lidded cast iron oven dish and put in the oven on 100c for the same time, stirring 1/2 way through and adding a little water if necessary.
Method for the orzo.
This takes no time at all so do this just before you are ready to eat.
bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add orzo and rapidly boil for around 8-12 minutes or according to pack instructions.
drain and add to a warm serving dish.
drizzle with olive oil, a good grind of black pepper, crumbled feta and shredded mint, toss through and enjoy with your meltingly tender stifado!
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