Greek Beef and Cinnamon Stew

    2 hours 10 minutes

    This beef stew is based on a Greek version known as 'Stifado'. It is seasoned with whole allspice berries, cloves and cinnamon.

    5 people made this

    Serves: 8 

    • 2kg stewing steak
    • 100ml olive oil
    • 750g small shallots, peeled and left whole
    • 3 to 5 whole cloves garlic
    • 500g tomato puree or passata
    • 200ml water
    • 2 cloves
    • 1 teaspoon whole allspice berries
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 pinch sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

    Preparation:40min  ›  Cook:1hour30min  ›  Ready in:2hours10min 

    1. Heat the olive oil in a large casserole dish over medium-high heat. Add the beef and brown on all sides; about 5 minutes. Brown in batches if necessary so as not to overcrowd the pan. Remove the beef from the casserole dish and set aside.
    2. Add the shallots and garlic to the casserole dish and cook until slightly soft and golden; about 3 to 5 minutes.
    3. Add the beef back to the casserole dish trying to get the beef to the bottom with most of the shallots on top. Add the tomato puree or passata, water and seasoning.
    4. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer without stirring for 75 minutes; uncovering the last 15 minutes to ensure all excess water evaporates. Shake the casserole dish occasionally to prevent sticking but avoid stirring so the onions don't fall apart.

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    Reviews in English (2)


    I was so confident it would be good I made it for the first time when we had dinner guests. Fantastic dish. The only thing I did differently I added more shallots, a little bit more cinnamon & cooked it on a very low heat for a lot longer.  -  03 Apr 2012  (Review from Allrecipes UK & Ireland)


    After buying beef heart instead of beef joint (my Bulgarian is still a bit dodgy!) I needed to find a recipe that used heart. I noted your suggestion to use it in stifado and I was so pleased with the end results. It was truly delicious and reminded me of the the years I'd spent in Greece. I cooked the meat for about an hour longer at a really low heat but apart from that I followed the recipe to the letter. Thank you for a great recipe  -  10 Jan 2012  (Review from Allrecipes UK & Ireland)