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Beef Stifado

by , Chef , Eureka Restaurant, San Francisco, Calif.

Beef Stifado

Serves 6

  • 2 pounds Certified Piedmontese stew meat*
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups dry red wine
  • 2 tablespoons red wine or balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups whole tomatoes, diced with juice
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 2-inch cinnamon sticks (do not substitute ground cinnamon)
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Feta cheese crumbled (optional)
  • Fresh marjoram (optional)

In a Dutch oven or stew pot, heat olive oil over medium heat and brown the meat in small batches. Transfer meat to a plate. Add the onions and garlic to the pot, stirring until slightly browned. Add remaining ingredients (except feta cheese and marjoram), stir until tomato paste is dissolved. Add meat back to the pot. Cover and cook for approximately 2 hours or until tender. Serve over pasta, potatoes, or steamed basmati rice and garnish with crumbled feta and fresh, whole marjoram leaves.

*Substitute a 3-pound Certified Piedmontese beef brisket flat for the stew meat in this recipe. Follow the above method although olive oil can be excluded and don’t bother browning the meat or vegetables. Increase the salt to 1 tablespoon. Combine ingredients in the crockpot and set to low heat for 6 to 8 hours. Brisket is ready to serve when a two-tined meat fork can be inserted and removed without lifting the meat. (This is an old chef’s trick for checking the doneness of large pieces of braised meats.) Always allow large pieces of braised meat to cool before removing from sauce for moister meat.

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