I think my Mother’s father was a foodie!
He had a great love of Cypriot delicacies and when I was small I distinctly remember him coming round with a hare, or failing that, a rabbit, in order that my mum could make stifado for him.
His appreciation, I have no doubt, made the ‘labour of love’ distinctly worthwile.
Now, I love it made with either meats, but I find that I tend to make it more with beef cubes as it is more readily available than game.
Stifado is a Greek stew made with the aforementioned meats and plenty of onions…when I say plenty, I really do mean that, there must be twice the weight of onions as there is meat, so for instance, if you make the stifado with 2lb of meat, you must use 4lb of onions!
It’s lovely served with a steaming pile of Basmati rice, though I have heard that in parts of Greece it is more generally served with noodles.
My mother’s recipe is very basic, there are no additions that I have heard about and read about, no red wine, no tomato paste.
Just beef, onions, olive oil and red wine vinegar and a couple of bay leaves…..it couldn’t be any easier.
My Mum’s Stifado
2lb beef stewing steak, cut into medium sized cubes (about the size of a walnut)
4lb Spanish onions, peeled and sliced
Extra-Virgin olive oil (For frying)
1 small wineglass of red wine vinegar
2-3 bay leaves.
1. Fry the beef in plenty of olive oil until well browned, place in the bottom of an ovenproof dish.
2. Fry the onion slices in batches, in the same oil, you want the onion slices to become well browned and golden, this helps with the flavour and colour immeasurably.
3. Place the onions on top of the beef.
4. Pour over the glass of red wine vinegar, season with salt and place 2-3 bay leaves on top also.
5. Cook in a medium oven (Gas mark 3, 170degC, 150degC fan oven) for about 3 hours.