Complete List of Recipes & Reflections

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Stifado - Video Recipe (Στιφάδο)


Barrel of Mavrodaphne wine from 1873, the world's second oldest extant wine at 135 years. (Photo courtesy of Sotiris Blatsis)

A Stifado is essentially a savoury onion-based stew with meat and is an excellent comfort Greek food for those of us who are anticipating the winter doldrums. One can use rabbit, chicken, lamb, pork, beef or veal in this quintessentially Greek dish. Stifado can even be made with deer and moosemeat.

In this video recipe for a Beef Stifado, I use a Greek wine vinegar which can just as easily be substituted by a unique Greek red wine called Mavrodaphne (or Mavrodafni). Indeed, fellow food blogger Hank Shaw from Hunter Angler Gardener Cook swears by Mavrodaphne in hisStifado recipes, and I agree that it definitely adds another dimesion to the meal. But, for those of you who may have a hard time finding some Mavrodaphne, the wine vinegar will do just fine. For those of you who do happen to have some Mavrodaphne on hand, use it in roughly the same quantity as the vinegar in the video ( i.e. 2 or 3 tablespoons). As a side note, Mavrodaphne wine also makes an excellent accompaniment to chocolate-based sweets, so it can also be served as a dessert wine when not used in stews or the like.

So there you have it, a classic Stifado recipe as my yiayia (grandmother) used to make it. This one pot meal is rustic Greek cooking in all its simple and tasty glory.

Kali Orexi! (Bon Appetit)

Sam Sotiropoulos
Greek Gourmand™
Greek Food Recipes and Reflections
Copyright © 2008, Sam Sotiropoulos. All Rights Reserved.


Peter G said...

Love the video Sam...a great idea! My parents always make stifado with hare (lagos) but I prefer the beef version. Good info on "mavrodaphne" and how it's incorporated into this dish by some regions...

Maggie said...

Great video recipe! I just found your site and like it a lot. I hope you and your son are doing well.

farida said...

Great video clip, Sam! You sounded very professional! Stifado looks so good. Thanks for sharing the recipe with us!

jacoba said...

Okay, for my gadzillion questions;

1) You say that you guys use Moose - would we be able to do it with Springbok (a local venison) and if so, advice please - ie. tips. I have a young buck, well hung and want to start the process of freezing. It's not a fat meat all, like most of our venision.

2) Ostrich?

3) I notice you promote a few Culinaria's - I've heard about them - any good? Books cost a fortune in South Africa & I have had to spend a merry fortune on them this year again, but I should (hold thumbs) be finished by December!! I'm thinking about having them shipped via Amazon ..... is it worth it for me? (In my field, that is??????)

4) Put on a contact me button please.

5) Nice video!

Katerina ante portas said...

Great video! Very specific instructions!
But no bay leaf nor rosemary? :)

Hunter Angler Gardener Cook said...

Thanks for the shout-out, Sam! Yep, I keep an extra bottle of Mavrodaphne just for stifado...

Jacoba: My advice with springbok or ostrich is to use 2-inch chunks cut from leg meat -- it'd be a pity to waste loin meat on a slow-simmered stew. Wait on adding the onions for 45 minutes to an hour, otherwise they'll dissolve before the meat gets tender. Build a game stifado in layers...

Mariana (History of Greek Food) said...

Nice video Sam... and you are absolutelly right about adding mavrodaphne in stifado.
I also use this wine or visanto with a few drops of vinegar.

Gabi @ mamaliga said...

Hey Sam!

Love the video! Great to see you tackling the video side of blogging. It's a powerful thing!
Boy that barrel of Mavrodaphne is that OLD?!?!?!?

Ivy said...

Great job with the video Sam, although I would prefer to see a printable option as well.

jacoba said...

Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, thanks so much. I really appreciate you comments!

Sam Sotiropoulos said...

All, forgive me for taking several days to reply to some of you, things have not yet settled down for us...

@peter g: My family often makes it with hare as well, but I thought beef would be more accessible (not to mention palatable) for most people. Glad you liked the video! :-)

@maggie: Thank you! Both Ilias and I are well. I am pleased to hear from you; do take a look around the blog, there's quite a few recipes and some pretty interesting reflections, and if you have any questions etc., feel free to comment. I usually respond much quicker but owing to current circumstances life is a little out of control. :-)

@farida: Thanks Farida, nice to hear from you! My pleasure. :-)

@jacoba: Well, Hank already spoke up on this and I would second his expert advice. He recommends a cut from the leg, and in point of fact, the beef I used in the video (and generally always use in beef stifado) is from the upper leg region, though without the bone. With respect to the moose, my good friend Kosta (R.I.P.) used to swear by browning it with vinegar before using it in pot cooking, though I have not tried his method, his moose stifado was always quite good. As for ostrich, I don't see why you couldn't use it, though I have never had it myself. Go for it!

As for the Culinaria books, they are actually quite good. While they are not academic in nature, they are quite comprehensive and the photography is top-notch. Would Irecommend them for your studies? No. For your drawing room or coffee table, yes. There are a couple things I don't like about the Culinaria Greece book, but all in all they are beautiful books chock full of recipes and information on food cultures. I have eight of them.

As for the contact button, if you click to view my profile (top right) you will see a link for my email address. But you may be right and I will consider adding my email address to the blog proper.

I am glad you liked the video! :-) Thanks!

@katerina ante portas: Hi there! Welcome to my blog. Thanks for your comment. No, no bay leaf or rosemary in this dish, at least not as I (or my family etc.) know it.

@hunter angler gardener cook: Hank, no problemo, my pleasure. As for the Mavrodaphne, my understanding is that there is a shortage right now so if you can get your hands on any, buy it and put it aside!

@mariana: Hi there! long time no hear from you. Glad to have you back, thanks for your comment on the video. :-)

@gabi: Thanks Gabi. Yessirree, video is the future of food blogging and ! want to be on the cutting edge. As for that barrel, yes, it is really that old. I would love to have a sip of that vintage!

@ivy Glad you liked the video. As for the printable option, I will likely add it. Thanks for your advice.

kalliope said...

Tis the season for delicious one pot meals. Last night I made lamb shanks with green beans. I think one pot Greek recipe's are the best by far.

Sam Sotiropoulos said...

@kalliope Amen to that. :-)

Tony faccini said...

wow seems i find this site way to late,hi sam do you still post? i love greek cooking and will definately be trying your stifado recipe asap

Tony faccini said...

wow seems i find this site way to late,hi sam do you still post? i love greek cooking and will definately be trying your stifado recipe asap