Beef Stifado Recipe -
Beef Stifado Recipe
  • READY IN ABOUT 3 hrs

Beef Stifado

Recipe by  

"This gorgeous casserole with beef and onions is best made the day before. Store the leftovers in the fridge covered, it also freezes well."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 5 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    45 mins
  • COOK

    2 hrs 10 mins

    2 hrs 55 mins


  1. Heat half of the butter and half of the first tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown half of the beef cubes on all sides, and place into a large saucepan. Repeat with the remaining butter, olive oil, and beef. Stir the onions and garlic into the oil remaining in the skillet, and reduce heat to medium; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Pour in the red wine, and bring to a simmer, then scrape the onions into the saucepan with the beef.
  2. Season the beef with cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, and orange zest. Pour in the diced tomatoes and water. Cover, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat; then reduce heat to medium-low, and continue simmering 1 hour.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet over medium heat. Stir in the pearl onions, and cook until they are well browned, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes. After the beef has simmered for an hour, add the pearl onions, recover, and continue simmering 20 minutes.
  4. Remove the lid, and simmer, uncovered until the stew has reduced and slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove the orange zest before serving.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Apr 19, 2010

Found this recipe while looking for something different to do with beef stew meat. I was attracted to it because of the spices and how different it sounded. I had to modify it somewhat based on what I had on hand. I didnt have an orange, so added a tiny bit of lemon zest. The only diced tomatoes I had on hand had green chiles in them so I used it. It actually made it quite nice with just a tiny spicy bite to it. I made this in the crockpot and let it cook all day. I didnt have any boiling onions so used regular yellow onions, roughly chopped. I removed some of the liquid after it was cooked and thickened it with flour and added it back in and let it thicken. We ate it over buttered egg noodles and we all loved it. I will be making this again.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Jan 29, 2015

I added two things to make this a whole balanced meal. Carrots and peas. Left out the pearl onions, we are still in debate if we like the texture of them or not. Did use the chopped onion though. I changed the way I cooked everything in this recipe and was able to use one pan instead of how many call for. I was really worried about all the spices but they worked, but I did leave out the sugar. Had to add about a cup of water throughout cooking to keep liquid in the pot so I threw in a beef cube at some point, it got bland. I served this over cauliflower rice, it was a delicious dish in the end after my tweeks and everyone enjoyed :)


23 Ratings

Jun 15, 2009

I saved this recipe last fall (the ingredients were intriguing), but the numerous cooking steps/timing turned-me-off: So, I used a slowcooker. Omitted olive oil, butter, water, chopped onion. I heated all ingredients (used 1.5# stew meat) on stove (to give it a heated head start ) then placed in slowcooker. Wasn't sure if the can of diced tomatoes was supposed to be drained or not, so didn't drain and omitted the 1/2 cup of water. I added boiling onions a top of other ingredients, an hour into cooking, so they wouldn't become mushy. Used pearl onions (as stated in recipe) the second time I made & we liked those better---stronger flavour & sweeter than boiling onions. Cooked on low for 4.5 hours, however it may have been ready in 3.5-4 hours: The meat was extremely break-apart tender. At the beginning of cook time the aroma reminded me of pumpkin pie (no, it doesn't taste a bit like pie)! This dish is very tasty with a nice, mellow combination of spice and orange zest. The sauce is very thin when prepared in a slowcooker, but simple to thicken. Served with sticky rice but egg noodles, or potatoes (mashed or otherwise) would also be a complimentary starch.

Jul 05, 2010

Dee-licious! The orange zest really added something, so don't leave it out. I had 1/2 lb less beef than needed for the recipe, so I used only 1 Tbsp butter and 1/2 lb of pearl onions. Too lazy to peel fresh so I used the frozen pearl onions and still tasted great. I ended up cooking most of this yesterday and refrigerating overnight, then cooking the pearl onions tonight and simmering them with the reheated stew. Came out fine. My only suggestion is that though the gravy is wonderful with those spices and the wine etc., there would barely have been enough if I'd used the full 2 lbs of beef, so you might like to increase your liquid. Thank you for a tasty recipe. Nice change from my usual beef stews. Served it with broccoli and mashed potatoes, but it would be good with noodles or those tiny European dumplings.

Nov 11, 2010

very good. I wasn't crazy about it the night I made it (hubby and kids were), but I loved it the second night after it had a chance to mellow in the fridge for awhile.

Sep 07, 2010

This was good, but not our favorite meal. We made it exactly as stated and served it with noodles. It is just a bit sweeter than we like, though everyone happily ate it they didn't feel it was worth the work to make it again. However, IF we do make it again we are going to try adding potato and carrot, which my family feels will better compliment the sweetness than the noodles.

Aug 07, 2012

Wanting to use up a package of stew meat, I came across this recipe. I browned the meat on the stovetop, but then added all the ingredients to the crock-pot except the pearl onions. I cooked on low for about 6 1/2 hours. With one hour left, I add the thawed (frozen) onions. The onions were hot at serving time. I served this over brown rice along with a salad, 7Up Biscuits and 'Southern Peach Cobbler' from AR for dessert.

Dec 10, 2011

Great flavor! I did change some things to simplify the recipe. I browned all the meat together with the garlic and onions in a wok, covered. Then I added the red wine, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar. Instead of orange zest I added ~1 tsp dried orange flakes. I added the complete can, undrained of diced tomatoes and instead of the water, I added beef stock to add flavor. When I make this again, I think I will omit the pearl onions. They were tasty but they were a lot of work to peel and not essential to the meal. I might replace them with some other vegetable like green beans. I served it over egg noodles and with crescent rolls. Delicious!


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  • Calories
  • 751 kcal
  • 38%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 20.6 g
  • 7%
  • Cholesterol
  • 172 mg
  • 57%
  • Fat
  • 49.2 g
  • 76%
  • Fiber
  • 1.6 g
  • 6%
  • Protein
  • 49.3 g
  • 99%
  • Sodium
  • 292 mg
  • 12%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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