This gorgeous beef stifado recipe is a traditional Greek casserole with beef and onions – perfect winter comfort food. Serve with lots of crusty bread to mop up the aromatic sauce. It is also typically made with rabbit, so feel free to substitute this if you wish.

Serves: 5 


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1kg (2 1/4 lb) beef stew meat, diced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 100ml (4 fl oz) red wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 strip fresh orange peel
  • 400g (7 oz) passata
  • 100ml (4 fl oz) water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 500g (1 1/4 lb) pearl onions, peeled


  1. Heat half of the butter and half of the first tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Brown half of the beef on all sides, and place into a large saucepan. Repeat with the remaining butter, olive oil and beef. Stir the onions and garlic into the oil remaining in the skillet, and reduce heat to medium; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Pour in the red wine, bring to a simmer, then scrape the onions into the saucepan with the beef.
  2. Season the beef with cinnamon, nutmeg and orange peel. Pour in the passata and water. Cover, and bring to a simmer over medium high heat; then reduce heat to medium-low, and continue simmering 1 hour.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in the frying pan over medium heat. Stir in the pearl onions, and cook until they are well browned, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes. After the beef has simmered for an hour, add the pearl onions, recover, and continue simmering 25 minutes.
  4. Remove the lid, and simmer uncovered until the stew has reduced and slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove the orange peel before serving.


Pearl onions are also known as button onions. These white onions are particularly sweet, and larger in size than brown pickling onions. You could use small shallots in a pinch.