A Glug of Oil

Delicious and easy recipes for everyday cooking. Midweek dinner ideas and easy dinner party recipes.

Beef Stifado - or not quite

Today I made Beef Stifado, once again I searched the net for recipes, and once again found soooooo many different versions.

In the end, I ended up putting in too much red wine vinegar......eeek!

Beef Stifado

Beef Stifado

So, I put in some sugar and left it to cook. When I tasted it again it didn't seem any better, so after adding even more sugar and not getting anywhere, I put in a big dollop of good old 'Heinz' Tomato Ketchup; Beef Stifado, Sorted!

Thank you Peter over at Kalofagas for his help regarding 'should I or shouldn't I' add raisins as some recipes say to. 

I must point out that the ketchup idea was NOT Peter's! I should think he's horrified to hear what I did to such a lovely Greek dish.

This, I'm sure must be my own recipe as I shouldn't think there is anyone else out there that has used tomato ketchup or celery in Beef Stifado before!


500g Best Braising Steak, cubed
2 large onions, chopped.
1 x 400g Tin of Plum Tomatoes, chopped
2 Tablespoons of Tomato puree
2 Teaspoons of Allspice
5cm of Cinnamon Stick 3 cloves
4 Garlic Cloves, very finely chopped 2 Sticks of Celery, sliced; as I had some in the fridge
1 Sprig of Rosemary
100ml of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
600ml Red wine
1 'Knorr' Beef stock cube (I diluted one cube in 300ml of boiling water and used about 100ml).
1 TEASPOON of Red Wine Vinegar
Freshly Ground Black Pepper and Salt to taste.

*Please note: The recipe said 4 tablespoons but I'm thinking 1 teaspoon would be enough. But as I'd already put in 4 tablespoons I was in need of the tomato ketchup and 3 teaspoons of sugar to sort it.

12 Shallots, a Knob of Butter and a little sugar (leave them out until a bit later in the recipe)
I probably used about 150 - 200ml of water (thanks to Peter) this along with my ketchup made the taste better


I made this in a 'Le Creuset' (name dropping here)!! casserole, so it could be used for the whole lot - from frying the onions to going straight into the oven.

I fried the sliced onions in a little of the oil until they were soft and put them to one side. I coated the beef cubes in flour.

Then, in the same casserole dish, I fried the beef until it was sealed all over.

Add the beef to a large frying pan or casserole dish. Place on a high heat, stirring occasionally until meat is sealed.

Add the rest of the olive oil, chopped onions, celery and garlic. Cook until the onions are soft and beginning to brown.

Add the red wine, the allspice, cloves, bay leaves, rosemary, cinnamon stick, dissolve the stock cube in the boiling water and add salt and black pepper to taste.

Add the chopped tomatoes, wine, red wine vinegar (go careful on that vinegar) and tomato paste.

Peel the shallots and fry them in a separate pan with a little butter, sugar, salt and pepper until caramelised.

When they're nicely browned, put them to one side and add these to the casserole about 30 minutes before it's done.

Due to my technical problem of putting in too much wine vinegar, I kept having a taste and I added some water as needed.

All in all, I think it was in the oven for about 3 and a half hours on a very low heat. As all ovens are different you just need to keep checking that it doesn't get dry, or boil - you just want a nice slow simmer.

Add the caramelised shallots about half an hour before you want to serve. Remember to discard the bay leaves, cloves, rosemary and cinnamon stick before serving.

I wasn't sure if it should have oregano in or thyme, so I put in both, along with lemon and garlic; whatever, they tasted fine.

I hope I've got everything I mentioned - I managed to fall down the stairs the other day and haven't been the same since 😀


  1. Oh dear, we've all done things like that. Maybe you can blame it on falling down the stairs (I hope you didn't hurt yourself) and at least it turned out well in the end!

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  3. Sylvie, Thanks - I do blame it on falling down the stairs! LOL
    I have a massive bruise on my bottom! (Now the whole world knows) And no skin on one elbow!
    I've even had to delete my comment once as I spelt your name wrong!

  4. Glad that you didn't hurt yourself too much when you fell down the stairs! It might not be an authentic Beef Stifado, but it's Jan's Beef Stifado and it was delicious and that's all that counts. The picture is fabulous Jan! I could lick the screen!

  5. Jan, that beef looks very nice. And I agree with Marie, it is your dish, so you can put what you like in it! Hope that you are on the mend! those potatoes look very good, too.

  6. Jan, good save and the stifado looks like the real deal. I wonder how it tastes though...I'm invited myself over for a sampling...see ya in 5 hours!

    PS, how many bruises from the tumble? lol

  7. That looks good!! I like using cinnamon in savoury dishes.

  8. Thanks Marie and Raquel and Kevin!

    Peter - You didn't show up!.....Only one big massive bruise!

  9. Sorry to hear about your fall, but it looks like your stifado turned out nicely!

  10. Hi Jan,
    I came here through Cynthia´s blog. You cook real hearty family dishes, that is so nice. How do you get time for that?
    I am hosting Tried & Tasted event dedicated to cooking from other blogs. This month, we re cooking from Cynthia. Up for the challenge?

  11. Thank you Blutopia!
    Zlamushka - Thank you, I have just emailed you!


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