Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Beef Stifado

Stifado is a Greek dish of braised meat lavished with a rich heavy sauce. It is a bit similar to an osso bucco though the sauce is much stronger than the standard osso bucco, with buckets of wine and spice in the mix. It pairs best with tendon-heavy cuts of meat such as rabbit, or beef cheek as i use here. Failing either of these, go for oyster blade. 

As you can see, beef cheeks are tendon heavy and marbled. Through slow cooking, the cheek will become very tender, and the meat will remain moist and sweet.

  • 1kg beef cheek cut into 6 pieces
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tbs smoked paprika
  • 2 cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cinnamon quills
  • 4 cloves
  • 1/2 tbs allspice powder
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • Salt 
  • Pepper
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • 3 stems celery, diced
  • 12 shallots, peeled but whole
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius
Place the cinnamon, allspice and cloves into a dutch oven and into the oven for 5 minutes. Remove and set aside. Turn oven down to 150 degrees.

Place a saucepan over medium heat with 2 tbs olive oil. Mix the flour and paprika on a plate and coat each piece of meat in the flour mixture.

Transfer the pieces of meat, 3 at a time, to the pan, and brown on all sides.

Set meat aside. 

In the same saucepan, add oil if necessary then add shallots, browning for 3 minutes

Add garlic, carrot and celery and saute for a further 5 minutes.
Add sauteed vegetables to the dutch oven over the spices. Add meat.
Pour over the wine and vinegar and add the bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. 
Cook on the stove top on low heat for 1/2 hour or until the sauce has halved. 

Pour over the chopped tomatos, place the lid on the pot and place in the oven.
Cook for 2 hours or until meat is very tender.

Serve with mashed potatoes and lavishly pour on the sauce. Bon appetit! 

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