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Stefado (Greek Beef Stew)



  • 3 pounds lean stew meat, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • Salt and freshly-ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 1/2 pounds small onions, peeled
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup red table wine
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or mashed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin


  1. Season meat with salt and pepper. Melt butter in Dutch oven or heavy kettle with cover. Add meat and coat with butter, but do not brown. Arrange onions over meat.
  2. Mix remaining ingredients; pour over meat and onions. Cover onions with plate (to hold them intact). Cover kettle and simmer for 3 hours, or until meat is very tender. (DO NOT STIR.)
  3. As you serve, stir sauce gently to blend.
  4. Accompany with Greek bread with sesame-coated crust.


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