Winter warmer recipe

Did you catch our delicious winter warmer recipe in the Gulf News this week? Head Chef, Max Larbiose, shares his recipe for Beef Stifado which currently features on the Verandah menu.  Give it a try yourself at home!

Beef Stifado


For the marinade (24h before cooking)

  • ¾ cup of red wine
  • 2 bunch of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 whole allspice berries
  • 1 carrot diced
  • 2 shallots sliced

For the stew

  • 1 kg good-quality stewing beef, cut into portions
  • 1 kg of small shallots
  • 1/4 of a cup olive oil
  • 3/4 of a cup red wine
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 of a cup Cognac (optional)
  • 1 large, juicy, ripe tomato, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp tomato purée
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3-4 whole allspice berries
  • a pinch nutmeg
  • salt and freshly ground pepper


  • Marinate the beef the day before cooking the stew. Combine all the marinade ingredients and massage into the beef. Cover and refrigerate over night.
  • Drain off the marinade and dry the meat on a paper towel.
  • Heat the oil in a saucepan; add the meat in batches and sauté until browned on all sides. Cooking in batches will ensure the temperature of the oil remains high and the meat is sealed. When the meat is nicely coloured, remove from the pan and place on a separate tray.
  • Cut the baby shallots in half, place in the same pan you used to brown the meat, turn down to a medium heat and sauté until the shallots have softened but not browned (about 10 minutes).
  • Pour in the Cognac, red wine and red wine vinegar. Cover and simmer for 3 minutes.
  • Return the meat, along with its juices, to the saucepan; add the chopped tomato, tomato purée, bay leaf, allspice berries and nutmeg. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to low and simmer for 1 ½ to 2 hours or until the beef is tender and the sauce has thickened.
  • Once the beef is soft and tender (you should be able to cut it with a spoon) remove it from the stew and place it on a tray. Reduce the sauce to your desired consistency and then pour it over the meat.  Scatter some fresh chopped herbs (e.g. parsley, chives or dill) or edible flowers on a top.
  • This stew is even more delicious slowly reheated the following day if you can bear waiting!
  • We serve this dish with charred homemade sourdough but a couple of toasted slices of potato sourdough from your local bakery would be perfect. This succulent and hearty traditional Greek stew is the perfect winter warmer enjoyed with a nice glass of red wine (try it with Cable Bay Five Hills or Syrah).