A meaty stew with beef and shallots in a gorgeous thick sauce.  This is a Greek dish, so correctly pronounced Stifatho, that is traditionally served with crusty bread and salad. Serves 4-6. Cooking time about 1½-2 hours.


1kg lean beef - cubed

500g baby shallot onions - peeled.

2 large onions - chopped.

3 juicy tomatoes - chopped.

2 tablespoons of tomato paste.

1 whole nutmeg crushed (put it into a bag and hit it with a rolling pin)

1 cinnamon stick and 3 cloves

4 garlic cloves - finely chopped.

1 sprig of rosemary

1 small wineglass of olive oil

2 glasses of red wine

A generous splash of vinegar

Fresh coarsely ground black pepper.


Add beef to large saucepan with the olive oil, chopped onions, garlic, and cook on a high heat until the meat is sealed and the onions have softened.

Add the chopped tomatoes, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves, rosemary and a good pinch of black pepper.

Keep stirring while the ingredients blend on a moderate heat.

Add the wine, vinegar and tomato paste. Stir well.

Add enough warm water to cover the meat and simmer for about an hour.

Peel and shallow fry shallots in a little olive oil until soft.

Add the shallots to the simmering meat.

Cook until the the meat is soft and tender, adding water as needed so that you end up with a thick sauce.