- 12 shallots
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1.5 kg brisket of beef , rolled and tied - we can do this for you
- 1 whole nutmeg , for grating
- 1 x 400 g tin of chopped tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato purée
- 250 ml red wine
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- 1 small handful of black olives
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- a few sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Peel the shallots and garlic. Heat the oil in a pressure cooker (or heavy-based casserole). Add the beef and turn it every couple of minutes, or until it's golden on all sides. Remove and set aside.
- Add the whole shallots and garlic to the pan and cook for around 10 minutes, or until they start to soften and take on colour. Finely grate in around a quarter if the nutmeg, then add all remaining ingredients, except the beef brisket.
- Half fill the tomato tin with water and tip this in too. Season well with sea salt and black pepper. Gently stir until hot and starting to thicken.
- Return the beef to the pan and put the lid on, making sure the valve is shut. Cook on a low heat for 1 hour 15 minutes (or 2 hours if not using a pressure cooker).
- Release the valve and, once the steam has stopped hissing, remove the lid. Leave the beef to rest for 10 minutes before removing. It should flake apart easily with 2 forks, though if it doesn't, it's fine to continue cooking it for a few more minutes.
- Stir the remaining sauce and season to taste. Break apart or carve the beef and serve with the lovely rich sauce spooned over the top.
This stew is a version of the Greek favourite stifado. Normally the Greeks use diced beef for stifado, but whole briskets seem to work well, too. Brisket is one of the cheapest cuts you can buy, but this recipe transforms it into something very special!