One of my favourite dishes I enjoy at my friend Nik the Greek’s restaurant is the beef stifado. Nikos has mentioned before that he uses recipes handed down within his family.
It would seem that the better recipes are the ones handed down. Ask any full blooded Welshman whose ‘Cawl’ is the best and the answer will always be “mam’s of course.”
For my Greek casserole altered from popular recipes to produce my own winter warmer.
So the ingredients are pretty straightforward.
500g diced lean beef
Two red knions
Two garlic cloves minced
Thinly sliced small yellow and green bell pepper
Two small carrots diced
A slice of a small swede diced
100ml of good red wine – reserved from the bottle that you going to drink during the meal or even cooking
400g of passata or cheap chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp of cinnamon & nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbs of olive oil
Warm the oil and brown the meat before adding the onions and garlic until soften before adding the wine, tomatoes spices and the rest of the vegetables.
Cover the pan and reduce to a simmer.
Make up a batch of dumplings and placed on a tray covered with baking parchment. Approximately 6 allowing space. Bake for 20 minutes at 200C. Remove for the oven when lightly brown.
Set aside and only add to the casserole about 20 minutes before service.
How long to cook the stifado? Like all casseroles the longer the better, however if you’re slow cooking then it’s all day. Hob simmering 1-2 hours and if pressure cooking 20mins plus 1 – 1 1/2 hours on “keep warm” for all the flavours to mingle. If possible of course, make it the day before and reheat.
Serve with your favourite potatoes and additional green vegetables. A truly tasty stew without a lot of thickening agents