4 Tbspolive oil
1 lbgrass-fed stew meat, either lamb or beef
1 lbpearl onions, peeled and kept whole (we used 1/2 pound golden pearl onions)
3-4 clovegarlic, peeled and minced
1 cbeef or lamb stock or broth, more if needed
3-4 Tbspred wine
1whole cinnamon stick
2fresh bay leaves
3-4whole cloves (placed in a tea infuser or small square piece of muslin cloth)
1 tspgreek oregano (aka mediterranean oregano)
14 ozfire-roasted crushed or pureed tomatoes
1 Tbsptomato paste
How to Make Stifado
- *Note: if you cannot find pearl onions, substitute with a comparable amount of red onion. Also, be very careful when buying a can of fire-roasted tomatoes. Some brands (Muir Glen as an example) include chili powder in the ingredients' list. Read the label. You don't want spicy tomatoes! It will overpower all the other flavors.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. When the pot is hot, add half of the stew meat. Brown the meat then transfer to a plate. Add the remaining olive oil and brown the rest of the meat. Transfer the second batch to the plate.
- Now add the pearl onions to the pot and sautè until they start to soften. Add the minced garlic and the beef broth to the pot, scraping up any of the browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
- Add the cooked beef and *any* juices that have accumulated back into the post. Stir in the remaining ingredients and enough water to cover the meat and onion mixture.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer gently, partially covered 2-3 hours or until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened.
- Remove the whole cinnamon stick and cloves.
Serve over orzo/pasta, mashed potatoes, rice, quinoa or similar. For a complete meal, serve a crisp green salad on the side.
We served our stew with a spinach salad that included carrots, bell pepper, cucumber and a scattering of feta. Imported Greek olives on the side.
Pass the salt and pepper shakers.