This beef stifado recipe is succulent from slow cooking and redolent with Greek herbs and spices, tomatoes and red wine. Vardis uses beef cheek at the Rose, but if you can't find it, use oyster blade.
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- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 tbsp paprika
- 900g oyster blade, cut into six pieces about 150g each
- olive oil
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 6 cloves
- 4 allspice
- 18 very small onions (walnut sized)
- or 12 small shallots, peeled but left whole
- 1/2 carrot, finely diced
- 2 sticks celery, finely diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 2 cups red wine
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 4 cups, or 2 x 400g tins, crushed tomatoes
- salt and pepper
Pre-heat oven to 180C. Mix flour and paprika and roll the meat in it. Heat a little olive oil in a pan and brown the meat all over. Set aside.
Place cinnamon, cloves and allspice in a deep 28cm x 30cm braising tray and heat in oven for about 5 minutes. Remove and reduce heat to 150C.
Over medium heat, sautee onions for a few minutes in some more olive oil then add carrot, celery, bay leaf, garlic and thyme, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Add this mixture to the spices in the braising tray, then place meat on top. Pour wine and vinegar over and then heat gently on the stove until the liquid reduces by half - about half an hour. Then add tomatoes and season.
Cover and seal the tray with grease-proof paper and then foil. Bake at 150C for 2 hours but check after 1 hour to make sure it's not going dry.
Serve with mashed potatoes and sauteed spinach.