Beef Stifado {Slow Cooked Recipe} (2024)

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By Sarah Rossi

on Sep 21, 2015, Updated Oct 16, 2023

4.71 from 148 votes

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A delicious Greek style stew, this Beef Stifado is so satisfying, in summer or winter. It’s a taste of sunshine and holidays, packed with vegetables and a rich flavourful sauce.

Beef Stifado {Slow Cooked Recipe} (2)

A number of years ago, we spent a blissful week with friends in Cyprus. Now, I have to say, it was a first holiday with children so it was, how shall we say, a learning curve?

I had a pair of fearless toddlers who had learned to walk that week and they planned on leaping into the swimming pool at any given moment. But my resounding memory of that week is laughs with friends and some seriously memorable food.

Perfectly light and delicate pastries, rich, deep tomato sauces and meltingly soft meats. This recipe for Beef Stifado will forever take me back to that trip.

Whether you’re making this and eating this in the depths

You’ll love this recipe because:

✅ An easy stew that’s a little bit different

✅ Packed with flavour

✅ Great to fill the freezer

Beef Stifado {Slow Cooked Recipe} (3)

FAQs about this Beef Stifado Slow Cooker Recipe

What shall I serve with this dish?

I like to serve this with some cooked orzo pasta, rice, or mashed potatoes. If you don’t have time (or energy for those) crusty bread or flatbreads are delicious too.

Would any other vegetables work in this dish?

Yes, you could try adding any root veg of your choice. Be sure to cut them small enough that they cook in the slow cooker.

Is this OK to use as leftovers?

Yes! In fact, these flavours actually get better with time. The stew will keep in the fridge for 3 days or 3 months in the freezer.

Is this an authentic Greek recipe?

This is a Greek style recipe, with flavours I’ve loved from my trips there. Traditional Stifado includes small, cooked, peeled onions. (You can read more about it here on MyGreekDish.) I unfortunately couldn’t find any when making this recipe, so I’ve substituted red onions, which also have a lovely sweet flavour.

Can you recommend a slow cooker?

The one I love (which can be used on the hob too) is the Morphy Richards Sear & Stew Slow Cooker as it’s really light.

If you have an induction hob, I would recommend the Lakeland Digital 6.5l Slow Cooker.

Beef Stifado {Slow Cooked Recipe} (4)

Fancy more meaty Slow Cooker recipes?

  • Slow Cooker Lamb Curry – a weekend favourite
  • Easy Lamb Koftas with Tzatziki – Sharing plate winner
  • Lamb Shoulder with Mint Glaze – Sunday slow cooker special

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do.

I’d love to know how you got on and what you thought of it if you make thisrecipe. Please rate the recipe using the⭐️ by the recipe. Also, if you’d like to show me a photo by tagging me on Instagram (@tamingtwins) I LOVE to see your creations.

Beef Stifado {Slow Cooked Recipe} (5)


4.71 from 148 votes

Beef Stifado

By Sarah Rossi

This simple slow cooked Beef Stifado is a perfect winter warming family meal.

Prep Time: 20 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours hours

Total Time: 2 hours hours 20 minutes minutes

Servings: 4


  • 2 tbsp of Olive Oil
  • 700 g Stewing beef, In cubes
  • 2 Red onions, Peeled and sliced
  • 3 Carrots, Peeled and cut into chunks
  • 3 Cloves garlic, Peeled and crushed
  • 1 tbsp Mixed Spice
  • 1 tbsp Dried Oregano
  • 2 tbsp Tomato puree
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 Beef stock cube, Or 'stock pot' NO NEED TO ADD WATER
  • 3 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 400 g Chopped tomatoes, SEE INSTRUCTIONS IF OVEN COOKING
  • Plenty of salt and pepper


Slow cooker instructions:

  • Heat the oil over a medium heat on the hob. Pan fry the beef in batches until browned all over. (Top tip, pat the beef dry first with kitchen paper, it will make it brown more easily.) If your slow cooker pan allows, you can do this straight into the pan, if not, use a frying pan and transfer to the slow cooker pan as it's browned.

  • Add in all of the other ingredients. Put the lid on.

  • Cook for HIGH 5 - 6 hours or LOW 8 - 9 hours.

Regular oven instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 160C.

  • Heat the oil over a medium heat on the hob, in an oven proof casserole or saucepan with a lid. Pan fry the beef in batches until browned all over. (Top tip, pat the beef dry first with kitchen paper, it will make it brown more easily.)

  • Add in all of the other ingredients. NOTE: You will need to add an ADDITIONAL can of tomatoes if cooking in the oven. So TWO 400g cans.

  • Put the lid on.

  • Put in the oven for 2 hours (or 3 will be even better) until the meat is tender and soft. Check it half way and add a little water if the sauce is drying out.


Calories: 359kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 40gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 109mgSodium: 505mgPotassium: 952mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 187IUVitamin C: 15mgCalcium: 97mgIron: 6mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Family Food

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Categorized as:
Batch Cook, Beef, Diced Beef Recipes, Freezer Friendly, Main Courses, Recipes, Slow Cooker, Slow Cooker Beef, Winter Warmers

Beef Stifado {Slow Cooked Recipe} (6)

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Beef Stifado {Slow Cooked Recipe} (11)


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  1. Beef Stifado {Slow Cooked Recipe} (12)
    No time for browning, chucked it all in and left on for 9 hours. Served with a loaf of crusty bread- devoured by all!


  2. Beef Stifado {Slow Cooked Recipe} (13)
    Delicious, another winner with the family. Absolutely love your recipes!! Thank you


  3. Beef Stifado {Slow Cooked Recipe} (14)
    Didn’t quite have all the ingredients but substituted some and it was delicious 😍


  4. Beef Stifado {Slow Cooked Recipe} (15)
    This was lush
    Just chucked it in didn’t even brown the beef
    Turned out great


  5. Beef Stifado {Slow Cooked Recipe} (16)
    The family absolutely loved it, so easy to make, thankyou


  6. Beef Stifado {Slow Cooked Recipe} (17)
    This is absolutely delicious and so easy to make! It’s a definite hit with all the family. Thank you so much for another fantastic recipe 😘


  7. This was lovely but after 4 hours on high it was starting to burn and I needed to add water. Did I do something wrong?


    1. Hi Liz, which slow cooker is it? Some are hotter than others I think!


  8. Beef Stifado {Slow Cooked Recipe} (18)
    Made this tonight, absolutely delicious, more slow cooker recipes please xx


Beef Stifado {Slow Cooked Recipe} (2024)


Why is my beef still tough after slow cooking? ›

“Beef may be tough in the slow cooker if you haven't added enough liquid, or haven't cooked it for long enough,” Kristen Carli, M.S., R.D., owner of Camelback Nutrition & Wellness, tells SELF. “For cuts of meat, the fattier cuts are often the ones that get juicy and tender.

Can you overcook beef in a slow cooker? ›

While slow cooker recipes are designed to cook for extended periods of time, they can still become overcooked if left on the wrong setting for too long. In general, it's best to stick to the indicated cook time on the recipe you're following.

Does meat get more tender the longer it cooks in a slow cooker? ›

Your meat will be juicier and more tender

The longer cooking time and the low heat complement each other perfectly. As a result, even though the meat is cooked for far longer, it doesn't dry out because the temperature is low. As a result, this is the best way to retain all the natural juices of the meat.

Do you add water to slow cooker for beef? ›

If your slow cooker is 3/4 full, no extra liquid is required. However, if you're cooking a smaller amount of food, add 1-2cm of liquid in the bottom of the slow cooker bowl to ensure there's enough liquid for cooking. Don't add too much liquid, because as the food cooks, it produces its own liquid.

Does beef get more tender the longer you cook it? ›

This is certainly true when it comes to notoriously tough cuts of meat like beef brisket and pork shoulder. Cooking these cuts of meat slowly, either by braising, stewing or grill roasting, is the best way to get these tasty cuts of meat meltingly tender.

Why is my beef not softening in slow cooker? ›

It wasn't cooked long enough. A long cook time in the crock pot dissolves the collagen in the meat and causes it to get tender, but before this happens the meat fibers will tighten (think an egg firming in the frying pan) and the meat will be tougher.

Why is my beef still tough after 8 hours in the slow cooker? ›

The meat was overcooked: Slow cookers are known for their ability to tenderize meat, but if the meat is cooked for too long, it can become overcooked and tough. It's important to follow the recommended cooking time for your recipe to ensure that the meat is cooked to the correct doneness.

Is 4 hours on high the same as 8 hours on low? ›

A general rule of thumb from Luis Sanchez, senior category manager for the appliance manufacturer Breville: To go from "High" to "Low" (or vice versa), multiply (or divide) the original time by 1.5 to 2.5 hours. And as with the cooking times for specific ingredients, these times are approximate.

Can I slow cook beef for 12 hours? ›

Place the beef roast on top. Sprinkle the soup mix over it all. Pour the wine or stock over all the ingredients. Cover the crockpot and cook on LOW for 10 to 12 hours or until the beef and vegetables are tender.

What is the best temperature for slow cooking beef? ›

Best cooked at 150-170C, recipes that require slow-roasting are trickier to control using a domestic oven. Brown the joint first to give it a bit of colour, cook it covered on low, then turn up the heat at the end to brown the meat.

Is it better to slow cook beef on high or low? ›

It usually involves cooking your chosen cut of beef in a slow cooker or casserole dish over a low heat for a long period of time, with the meat submerged in liquid. Tough cuts of meat are ideal for slow cooking as the lengthy cooking process helps to tenderise them.

Do potatoes go on top or bottom of meat in crockpot? ›

Place firm, slow-cooking root vegetables like potatoes and carrots at the bottom of the crock and pile the meat on top. Set the heat level: A general rule of thumb is that cooking on the low setting (170 degrees F for most models) takes about twice as long as cooking on high (280 degrees F on most models).

Can I put raw beef straight into a slow cooker? ›

Yes, you most certainly can cook raw meat in the slow cooker! You put it in “cold”, with whatever liquid your recipe calls for, turn it on either “low” or “high” depending on your recipe (I usually start it on “high” for a couple hours, then turn it to “low”), and in 6–7–8 hours, it's now COOKED meat!

What cannot be cooked in a slow cooker? ›

10 Foods You Should Never Make in a Slow Cooker
  1. Raw Meat.
  2. Seafood.
  3. Pasta.
  4. Rice.
  5. Delicate Vegetables.
  6. Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts.
  7. Dairy.
  8. Wine and Other Liquor.
Jan 19, 2024

How do you make tough beef tender again? ›

  1. How to Tenderize a Tough Cut of Meat. Pound it out. Use salt. Use an acidic marinade. Use kiwi, papaya, or pineapple. Score it. Slow cook it.
  2. Our Favorite Recipes for Slow Cooked Meat.
Jan 17, 2024

Why is my roast still tough after 7 hours? ›

There are several reasons why this could have happened even after so much cooking. First, your choice of a rump roast could be a factor since cuts from the hind quarter are very muscular and, since muscles are the most resistant to breaking, this cut is quite stubborn when it comes to becoming tender.

Why is my beef not softening? ›

Two options really, either it is really a poor cut of beef, or more likely it hasn't been cooked for long enough. Usually 3 hours in the oven in a casserole dish at 180C/350F should make any cut of beef tender.

How do you make tough beef tender? ›

7 Ways to Tenderize Steak
  1. Pounding. Using a meat mallet (or kitchen mallet) to pound steaks helps soften and tenderize the meat. ...
  2. Salting. Most cuts of steak benefit from being salted up to an hour in advance of cooking, but especially tougher cuts. ...
  3. Marinating. ...
  4. Velveting. ...
  5. Slow Cooking. ...
  6. Enzymatic Application. ...
  7. Scoring.
Oct 18, 2022


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