Stifado (Beef Stew)
Recipe type: Main Dish
tender beef stew
  • 1 pound beef, pork or other game, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1-2 pounds pearl onions
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 2 cups spicy tomato juice
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • (or a 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes)
  • 1 (10-ounce) can of tomato sauce
  • 3-4 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons pickling spice
  • Fresh oregano or parsley for garnish
  • Water, if needed (I prefer, instead, to keep adding more tomato juice, wine or oil)
  • Cheesecloth and twine for the pickling spices
  1. Use a paring knife to trim the stem ends and peel away the skins from the pearl onions. Slice the garlic, and cut the meat of choice into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Cut a thick 4” square of cheesecloth, pour the pickling spice into the middle of the cheesecloth, fold the corners and tightly tie together with twine. This is your spice bag. You’ll remove it later.
  3. Place a pot on medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Add the meat and season lightly with salt, pepper and oregano. Brown the meat on all sides
  4. Add the wine, onions and garlic.
  5. Add spicy tomato juice, diced tomato, and tomato sauce, cinnamon stick, more oregano, and the spice bag to the pot. The stew should be covered with liquid, so add more oil, wine or water if needed.
  6. Cover pot, reduce the heat and simmer the stew slowly for about 2-3 hours. Be sure to stir the pot occasionally and continually season to taste.
  7. Cook until meat and onions are tender and the sauce has thickened. You can keep the stifado on a very low heat until serving time. Remove the spice bag.
  8. Garnish with fresh oregano and serve.
Recipe by Eleni Saltas at