Beef Stifado recipe (Greek beef stew)

Beef Stifado (Mosharaki Stifado)

The perfect Greek beef stifado (Greek beef stew)!! Juicy and tender, melt-in-the-mouth beef stifado with a delicious, slightly sweet, intense tomato-based sauce…

How to make the perfect Greek beef stew (stifado)

Have you ever wondered how some stews have this melt in the mouth texture while others taste like chewing rubber? It’s all about choosing the right cut and cooking it the right way.

Greek Beef Stifado (Mosharaki Stifado)

What kind of beef to choose for stifado?

For a Greek beef stifado (stew), you need to choose large cuts of good quality stewing beef or even better veal, which, when cooked for a long time, become fork tender.

The best option for this Greek beef stifado recipe would be chuck (chuck steak), which comes from the upper arm and shoulder of the cow. It contains a lot of collagen and becomes juicier and the longer you cook it.

Long cooking time and low temperate is the secret to achieve the melt in the mouth texture, that will make your beef stifado just perfect!

Preparing the onions for Greek beef stew (stifado)

The traditional Greek beef stifado recipe calls for “kokaria” onions, which are small white sweet onions. The best option is to use white pearl onions, which are sweet and mild and won’t overpower the other flavours of the dish.

Onions for Beef Stifado recipe (Greek beef stew)

Greek beef stifado is a very easy recipe to follow. The only thing that can be a bit time consuming is peeling all those onions. A little trick to save you a lot of time and effort is to blanch the onions in boiling water for about 30 seconds. Then pinch each onion at its stem end and the peel will come right of.

How to cook your Greek beef stifado (stew)

When cooking a Greek beef stifado,

  1. The meat is first browned and sealed to keep it nice and juicy.
  2. Then the onions are caramelised separately in the same pan to get all the flavours from the meat until softened.
  3. The beef and the onions are simmered in a tomato-based sauce along with cognac, red wine vinegar, aromatic spices and herbs.

Let your beef stifado simmer for a few hours to allow its flavours to mingle into something much much more!

How to serve your beef stifado the traditional Greek way

Traditionally Greek beef stifado is served with orzo pasta, rice, hilopittes (egg pasta) or fries. For the cold winter days, serve with creamy mashed potatoes for a warming and hearty meal that will take the chill out of any evening. Together with a traditional Greek Moussaka, this is arguably the most heartwarming dinner you can have!

And of course with some crusted bread aside to dig into all this delicious tomato sauce.

Beef Stifado (Mosharaki Stifado)

Other delicious stew recipes

Serving wise, you can pair it with some delicious crusty bread and with a refreshing Greek feta salad, or a Greek Orzo Salad (Orzo feta salad). Finally, a very popular variation of this beef stew is lamb stifado and rabbit stifado. So if you fancy experimenting, you can try swapping the beef with lamb or rabbit. 

Oh and you can always read this delicious recipe in Greek here Συνταγή για Μοσχάρι Στιφάδο που λιώνει στο στόμα.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Beef Stifado (Mosharaki Stifado)

Beef Stifado recipe (Greek beef stew)

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1,022 votes, average: 4.82 out of 5)Loading...
  • Author: Eli K. Giannopoulos
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 5 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Stew
  • Cuisine: Greek


The perfect traditional Greek beef stew (stifado) recipe. Find out how to prepare beef stifado the traditional Greek way for that melt-in-the-mouth texture you’ve been looking for.


  • 1 kg good-quality stewing beef, cut into portions (35 ounces)
  • 1.5 kg pearl onions, peeled (60 ounces)
  • 1/4 of a cup olive oil
  • 3/4 of a cup red wine
  • 3 tbsps red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 of a cup cognac
  • 2 ripe tomatoes (without skins) roughly chopped or tinned (400g) chopped tomatoes (14 oz)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 34 allspice berries
  • a pinch nutmeg
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • A bit of water


  1. To prepare this delicious Greek beef stifado recipe, heat the oil in a saucepan, add the meat (in batches) and sauté, until browned on all sides. Do not add all the meat in the sauce pan, rather sauté in batches, so that the temperature of the oil remains high and the meat is sealed. When done, remove with a slotted spoon, place on a platter, cover and set aside.
  2. Peel and carve the baby shallot onions crosswise, add in the same oil used to browned the meat, turn down to medium heat and sauté until the onions have softened, but not browned (about 10 minutes).
  3. Pour in the cognac, the wine and red wine vinegar, cover and let it simmer for 3 minutes.
  4. Pour the meat along with its juices to the saucepan, add the tomato paste and sauté. Add the chopped tomatoes, bay leaf, allspice berries, nutmeg and a bit of water until the meat is covered. Bring to a boil, turn the heat down and simmer the beef stifado with a lid on for 1 1/2 hours or until the beef is tender and the sauce has thickened. While the beef stifado is simmering, check if it needs some water; you don’t want it to dry out. If it does, pour in half a cup of boiled water and stir. Towards the end of cooking time season well with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve beef stifado with pasta and grated cheese, or boiled new potatoes. Enjoy!


  • Serving Size: 1 medium bowl
  • Calories: 467kcal
  • Sugar: 3.6g
  • Sodium: 752.8mg
  • Fat: 22g
  • Saturated Fat: 5.9g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 15g
  • Trans Fat: 0.2g
  • Carbohydrates: 8.7g
  • Fiber: 1.9g
  • Protein: 56.1g
  • Cholesterol: 150mg

Sign Up to Our Newsletter


  1. Annmarie Edmonds

    Lovely recipe, family enjoyed very much

  2. STIFADO is delicious with chunky style cinnamon coated chips. Cut up raw potatoes into large chips, par boil for ten minutes, then shallow fry in olive oil ( use the oil you cooked the shallots in) then sprinkle with cinnamon and salt and fry until crispy. That’s what I do here in Paphos Cyprus. Enjoy !

  3. Katrina Foster

    This site is making me miss my dad loads. You are also teaching me things about my heritage he did not share with us. I am half Cypriot and proud of it but feeling quite ignorant. Thank you for sharing xx

  4. Excellent simple recipe, did mine in slow cooker but then put in oven for another hour to thicken juices, served with steamed greens and carrots, and mashed potato

  5. Rorie Mackie

    This is great dish enjoyed it

  6. Asia Elzein

    Which red wine is best?

  7. Connie Faurholt

    I would never put vinegar in Stifado. Brown the beef in olive oil, add red wine, onions, chopped tomatoes and the Herbs. Top up with Water to cover the beef and let it stir for 2 hours. Season with salt and pepper before serving.

  8. Diana Nuccio Gritzalis

    I also add tablespoon of Tomato Paste!!!!

  9. Had Stifado once around 22years ago in Cyprus have been dreaming about it ever since will need to try this recipe.

  10. george paragioudakis

    Could you give me this recipe for 15 pounds of meat please????????????
    Thank you in advance!!!!!!

  11. Jennifer

    I had a recipe that called for cinnamon sticks (removed before serving). Does anyone know this one? I lost the recipe.

    • Christopher Coote

      Look for the Agni Travel recipe (Corfu) Jennifer. I have used it for 9 years and it never fails to deliver!

  12. Pamela Visocchi

    Yes the hairy bikers recipe calls for 3cm cinnamon stick

  13. Made stiffado last night. I used more tomato than this along with oregano, cinnamon and cassia, cloves and garlic. Served it with orzo and pamesan.

  14. Royce Faina

    Καλημέρα, I am looking forward to try this!

  15. What type of pasta and what type of cheese would you use if wanting to be close to authentic but with ingredients you can get in a U.K. supermarket?

  16. Hey, making this now. Should it be covered in the pan or should I leave the lid off? thanks

  17. Joyce Halter

    can you use pearl onions in the jar?

    • Eli K. Giannopoulos

      Nope, you’ll need fresh onions. If you can’t find pearl onions, any small/medium size onion will also do! It won’t look the same but will taste the same!!

  18. Could you tell me the measurements for cups of oil and wine etc, please


    I was thinking of doing orzo salad recipe ( with feta) to go with this stew, would I still serve with grated cheese and what type of cheese should I use.

    Also how long will this be ok to keep for

  20. Linda Moraitis

    I make it exactly this way but I do flour the meat a little and put cinnamon on the meat and in the sauce. It’s what my mother in law did. I also use the frozen pearl onions. Comes out great every time.

  21. Maria Bowater

    Can I make this the night before

  22. Purplewaveindia

    Your needs come first! Purplewaveindia has no agendas, and no loyalties to anyone other than you, our client. Purplewaveindia was established in 2018. And in a short span of 4-years, Purplewaveindia has become one of the prominent players in the Indian Audio Video Manufacturing and Integration Industry.

  23. I have top round beef. Will that cut of meat work?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *