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Monday, May 29, 2017

Greek stifado

A tempting beef casserole - with artichoke hearts, fava beans, new potatoes and juicy, purple-skinned kalamata olives - that is ideal for a family Sunday lunch or easy entertaining, and needs only a green salad alongside.

300 grams (10 oz) pickling onions or shallots
1 tablespoon olive oil
500 grams (1 lb) lean stewing beef, cut into chunks
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
398 ml can chopped tomatoes
1 2⁄3 cups red wine1 bay leaf
350 grams (12 oz) new potatoes
398 ml can artichoke hearts, drained and halved
1 1⁄4 cups frozen fava beans, thawed
1⁄3 cup kalamata olives, pitted and roughly chopped

1.Cut the ends from the onions or shallots and place in a large bowl. Cover with boiling water and allow to stand for about 2 minutes to loosen the skins.
2.Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish over a medium heat. Add the beef and brown evenly, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes.
3.Meanwhile, slip the skins from the onions or shallots. Add the peeled onions or shallots to the casserole dish to brown lightly, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic with the ground spices.
4.Pour in the tomatoes with their juice, and the red wine and bring to a boil. Add the bay leaf, reduce the heat to low, cover the casserole dish and simmer gently for 1 hour.
5.Stir the potatoes into the casserole and continue to simmer for a further 30 minutes, covered, until the meat and potatoes are tender. Add the artichoke hearts, beans and olives and cook for a final 5 minutes to heat through. Season to taste.
Cook’s tips• You can make the whole stew up to 3 days ahead, just leaving out the artichoke hearts, beans and olives. Allow to cool, then cover and keep in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, allow to come to room temperature, then add the remaining ingredients and reheat gently over a low heat until bubbling hot.• If more convenient, cook the casserole slowly in an oven preheated to 350°F (180°C).
Variation• You can replace the artichoke hearts and olives with 200 grams (7 oz) button mushrooms added with the potatoes.

Serves 4
Preparation time 20 minutes
Cooking time about 1 3⁄4 hours

Nutritional information 
Each serving
35 g protein • 12 g fat of which 3.5 g saturates • 24 g carbohydrate • 8 g fibre • 427 Calories

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