1. Food

Stifatho: Beef and Onion Stew

User Rating 5 Star Rating (2 Reviews)


Greek Beef and Onion Stew

Stifatho: Beef and Onion Stew

Photo © N. Gaifyllia, licensed to About.com, Inc.

In Greek: στιφάδο, pronounced stee-FAH-thoh

The key to this recipe is the long cooking time, which brings together the tastes of the beef, onions, garlic, bay leaf, and rosemary. (I'm told that by adjusting the amount of water, this works well in a slow cooker or crockpot - see note below the recipe.) Serve with the potato dish or salad of your choice, a slice of feta cheese, and crusty bread.

Cook Time: 3 hours

Total Time: 3 hours


  • 3 1/3 pounds (1.5kg) of lean beef, cut in egg-sized chunks
  • 3 1/3 pounds (1.5kg) of whole boiler onions, peeled
  • 3/4 cups of olive oil
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) of red wine vinegar
  • 10 cloves of garlic, peeled, whole
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 stem of fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 10-12 peppercorns


In a stew pot, lightly brown the meat in olive oil.

Add remaining ingredients and enough water to cover, plus 1 inch. Stir to mix with a wooden spoon. Bring to a rolling boil and immediately reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 3-4 hours without stirring, until only a sauce remains.

Yield: serves 4-5

Prep time: Prep time depends on the time it takes to peel the onions. Some ideas to make it easier.

Slow Cooker Directions: In a comment on a blog post about this recipe, Esia writes: "I made this in the slow cooker and it was super easy and delicious. I adjusted the recipe slightly by adding half of the water and it turned out perfectly–I had it cooking 8 hours on low setting. This recipe is definitely a keeper!"

User Reviews

 5 out of 5
So, so good..., Member Boxerwalker

This recipe is a winner. I used 1 pound of ground beef, a yellow onion and a couple of leeks, as it was what I had on hand. I reduced the quantity of all other ingredients to about 1/3 accordingly. In the last 1/2 hour of cooking I tasted it and the flavor was a little weak so I added a couple of beef bullion cubes. I used my immersion blender at the very end to thicken up the stew. Delicious! Served it with sourdough bread, feta cheese and calamati olives. I will make this again and next time maybe use a roast or a large chuck steak cut into chunks.

Write a review

4 out of 7 people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes | No

See all 2 reviews

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.