Beef stew.... Not something I cook very often, Greek or otherwise. Something my husband and children will eat lots of and yet I still don't cook it that often. It's just that I don't really like too much red meat. I love the taste and especially the gravy that it produces. It's the texture I don't like too much of. Anyway this stifado was great and one I will make again. The boys, both big and small loved it, I ate my fair share too!
It can be made with any meat, it's just typical in Greece to have it with beef. If I'm having red meat then lamb would normally be my first choice. Anyway, I decided to use half a bottle of red wine and herbs from the garden. There are lots of versions available on-line but I think you just have to cook what you want to. This was our version served with boiled new potatoes...
Beef Stifado (Greek Stew) - Serves 6-8 or 4 plus leftovers!
1 kilo Stewing steak
1 kilo shallots, peeled and cut in half if big
Half a bottle of red wine
Half a cup of plain flour
2 tins of whole plum tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
Stripped leaves of rosemary from 1 small twig, 2 bay leaves
half a small handful of thyme and oregano or marjoram, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 beef stock cube
boiling water in both empty tins of tomatoes
Take the beef out of the fridge a little while before you're going to use it.
Put the oven on a low to medium heat, approx 160C.
Put the flour in a bowl and tip the cubes of beef in. Roll it around to evenly coat each piece.
In a large ovenproof pan (I used my trusty Le Creuset), add the olive oil and over a low heat cook the shallots for about 5-10 minutes.
Tip the onions into a bowl and then brown the beef in the pan.
Put the onions back in and add the tomatoes, sugar, herbs, stock cube and water and cook on high for 10 minutes.
Then place in the oven and cook for approximately 2 hours, by which time your beef should be meltingly soft. You should give it a stir half way through cooking too.
On Sunday, we had a lovely Greek Salad for lunch with Warmed Pitta Breads sliced into 2cm pieces. We served it with a really nice houmous made by Sabra, it had pine nuts in it too which gave it a different flavour. We also had a tub of very pink taramasalata. The sort that you expect to glow in the dark if you turn the lights off. I was the only one who liked the taramaslata. I've always loved it and the cheaper the better. Weird how some things just hit the spot!
I was reminded of something when my mum left a comment on my last post. Something I probably didn't say thank you enough for at the time. My mum and stepdad arranged and paid for me to have my 18th birthday party at a great little Greek Restaurant in Palmers Green (a long time ago now). It was such a great evening and something different to most of my friends 18th's. For a start I don't remember anyone being sick which was pretty unique. It was particularly great because I didn't live with my Mum and Malcolm and it was a real treat for all of my friends to go and visit with me. It was normal to take one friend with me when I visited but not all of them at the same time. We completely took over their house and it was such a special weekend. Not sure if the restaurant is still there as I haven't been in that neck of the woods for a long time. M&M moved back to the North East soon after my 18th. Anyway, THANK YOU M&M. It was a great 18th birthday and I have really fond memories, some great pics too. x