Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Stiphado( beef or rabbit stew casseroled with wine vinegar, onions and spices)

Ingredients
2Kgs Beef cut into pieces or rabbit cut into portions
100g plain flour
3/4 bottle of good red wine
3 Tbsp (45ml) red wine vinegar
4 Cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1kg baby onions or shallots
Olive oil for frying
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
3 Bay leaves
1 tsp ground allspice
3 Tbsp tomato puree
300ml beef stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preparation Method
Preheat the oven to 160 deg C / Gas mark 4Cut your beef or rabbit into square pieces, the bigger the better, but around 5cm is about right. Season the flour with plenty of black pepper and a bit of salt, and coat the pieces of beef or rabbit. In a hot pan, heat the olive oil and when hot, fry your pieces of beef or rabbit until sealed on all sides and slightly browned. These can be done in batches of a few (5 or 6) at a time if required. Put into a large casserole or a pot with a lid when done. Add some more oil to the pan and fry the onions (chopped in half if they're too big) over a medium heat until they start to brown - about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and fry for a further minute. Put this into the casserole with the beef or rabbit. Pour the wine into the pan; add the red wine vinegar, cinnamon, ground allspice and heat until it just begins to boil. Add this to the casserole along with the beef stock and the bay leaves. Stir in the tomato puree. Put the lid onto the casserole and place it into the oven. Occasionally give the stifado a stir. It will take at least 3 to 4 hours to cook, but 5 will be better. When it's done, the meat should be very tender and the sauce nice and thick.
Traditionally, this dish is served with crust bread to mop up the gravy, but it's also great with a few vegetables and baked potatoes. Mashed potatoes and whole fried potatoes will suit fine!!This dish is better to be served for lunch since it might be too heavy for the stomach.

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