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Lamb Stifado recipe (Greek Lamb stew)

Lamb Stifado recipe (Greek lamb stew)

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  • Author: Eli K. Giannopoulos
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 portions 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Stew
  • Cuisine: Greek


If you are searching for proper Greek comfort food then Lamb Stifado will be perfect! This Greek lamb stew is easy to make and is ideal for those cooler evenings when you want a hearty, warming dish.


  • 1.5kg lamb, bone in, cut in large portions (53 oz.)
  • 700g pearl onions, peeled (25 oz.)
  • 23 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsps tomato paste 
  • 400g tinned chopped tomatoes (14 oz.)
  • 6 tbsps (80g) white wine vinegar 
  • 67 tbsps extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 tsp chopped rosemary 
  • 58 allspice berries (or ground allspice)
  • 12 cinnamon sticks 
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Salt and pepper 
  • 800ml-900ml water (3-4 cups)


  1. To prepare this delicious Greek lamb stifado (lamb stew) recipe, start by preparing the lamb. In a large bowl add the meat and season well with salt and pepper.
  2. Place a large frying pan over high heat. Add the olive oil (4 tbsps) and the lamb and sauté over high heat, until browned on all sides and sealed. When done, remove with a slotted spoon, place on a platter, cover and set aside.
  3. Peel the baby shallot onions.
  4. Place a pot over high heat. Add the remaining olive oil and the pearl onions and sauté until caramelised. 
  5. Add the chopped garlic, allspice berries, rosemary, cinnamon sticks, sugar and tomato paste and sauté.
  6. Pour in the vinegar and deglaze. 
  7. Add the canned tomatoes and water and stir. At the end add the sautéed lamb. 
  8. Place the lid on. A soon as it comes to a boil, lower the heat down to medium and cook for approx. 2 hours. 
  9. While the stifado is simmering, check if it needs some water; you don’t want it to dry out. If it does, pour in some boiled water. On the contrary if your sauce needs more thickening towards the end of cooking time, then remove the lid and let it boil to evaporate. 
  10. Serve this delicious lamb stifado with crusty bread and feta cheese. Enjoy!