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Greek beef stew with pearl onions (Stifado) feat.

Greek beef stew with pearl onions (Stifado)

This Greek beef stew with pearl onions (Stifado) is a hearty meal suitable both for a festive occasion or an everyday dinner. It can also be made with rabbit or veal.

Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine gluten-free, Greek, Mediterranean
Keyword beef, stew, stifado
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 685 kcal
Author The Hungry Bites


  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 2 pounds (900 grams) cubed beef (like chuck)
  • 2 pounds (900 grams) pearl onions, peeled (or regular onions quartered)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 5 allspice kernels (or 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice)
  • 2-3 teaspoons fine salt (start with 2 and adjust by tasting)
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1/4 cup thick tomato paste plus 1/2 cup water (or 1 cup tomato juice)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (or red wine vinegar)


  1. Heat a large pot over high heat and add the olive oil and the meat in one layer. If it doesn’t fit, you’ll do it in batches. Brown the meat very well from one side, then flip and brown from the other side.
  2. Transfer the meat to a plate, reduce heat to medium/high and add the onions, the bay leaves, the cumin, the allspice, the salt and the pepper. Stir for 4-5 minutes until glossy, add the garlic and stir for 1 minute more.
  3. Return the meat with all its juices to the pot and add the wine, the tomato paste, the water, and the balsamic vinegar. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer, cover the pot and cook for 1 hour 30 minutes or until the meat is fork tender(it could take up to 2 hours depending the meat). After 45 minutes, check the pot and add a splash of water if needed. Taste and adjust the salt.
  4. Serve with rice, mashed potatoes or pasta. Eat!