1 kg good-quality stewing beef, cut into portions (35 ounces)
1.7 kg baby shallot onions, peeled (60 ounces)
1/4 of a cup olive oil
3/4 of a cup red wine
3 tbsps red wine vinegar
1/3 of a cup cognac
1 large, juicy ripe tomato, roughly chopped
1 tsp tomato purée
1 bay leaf
3-4 allspice berries
a pinch nutmeg
salt and freshly ground pepper
To prepare this delicious Greek beef stifado recipe, heat the oil in a saucepan, add the meat (in batches) and sauté, until browned on all sides. Do not add all the meat in the sauce pan, rather sauté in batches, so that the temperature of the oil remains high and the meat is sealed. When done, remove with a slotted spoon, place on a platter, cover and set aside.
Carve the baby shallot onions crosswise, add in the same oil used to browned the meat, turn down to medium heat and sauté until the onions have softened, but not browned (about 10 minutes).
Pour in the cognac, the wine and red wine vinegar, cover and let it simmer for 3 minutes.
Pour the meat along with its juices to the saucepan, add the chopped tomato, tomato puree, bay leaf, allspice berries and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, turn the heat down and simmer the beef stifado for 1 1/2 hours or until the beef is tender and the sauce has thickened. While the beef stifado is simmering, check if it needs some water; you don’t want it to dry out. If it does, pour in half a cup of boiled water and stir. Towards the end of cooking time season well with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve beef stifado with pasta and grated cheese, or boiled new potatoes. Enjoy!