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Beef stifado recipe

01 June 2015

Greek Cypriot chef Tonia Buxton shares her recipe for beef stifado, a traditional Greek stew often served with rice, potatoes or orzo.

Tonia Buxton's beef stifado

Cooking time

2 hours




  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1½ kg lean braising beef, cubed
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1½ kg shallots, peeled
  • 3 pieces cinnamon bark
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp whole cloves
  • 1½ tsp aniseed (or fennel seeds or 2 star anise)
  • 3 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • Sea salt and pepper


Tonia Buxton is a Greek Cypriot chef, nutritional expert and television presenter known for The Discovery Channel's My Greek Kitchen and My Cypriot Kitchen. In her new book, Eat Greek for a Week, she shows how Greek recipes can be used as part of a healthy diet to control weight, manage diabetes and feel younger.

Here, she shares her recipe for beef stifado - a healthy beef stew with a flavoursome tomato sauce.

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based pan then brown the cubed meat in batches. Remove and set aside.

Add the shallots to the pan and cook gently until caramelised. Now add the garlic and cook for a further minute or two. Burnt garlic becomes bitter so always take care to add after onions.

Add the vinegar, the spices and tomatoes and season well. Stir in 200ml hot water. Cover tightly and simmer for a minimum of 1½ hours but preferably 2 hours or until the meat is very tender, in a rich, thick sauce.

Tonia Buxton's Eat Greek for a Week is out June 4 (Blink Publishing)


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.