Beef Stifado with cauliflower mash and grilled chilies

What’s that in the sky … I believe it’s the sun! At long last, and even though it has been such a lovely day I was in mood for slow-cooked comfort food and inspired by conversation about where to go on holiday … looks like it’s going to be Greece this year, I decided on a Beef Stifado – easy to make and a rich sauce full of flavour.

It has taken me some time to get the cauliflower mash to the consistency that I like, but I believe that I have finally perfected the recipe, and it was superb with the Stifado and some large grilled green chilies.

Ingredients

1kg of beef – cubed
2 large onions
3-4 cloves of garlic
olive oil
beef stock cube
1 red chili
4tbsp tomato paste
175ml red wine
1 cinnamon stick
2-3 bay leaves
2 sprigs of rosemary
5-8 brown mushrooms (optional – the sauce will be thinner)
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

Chop the onions and fry them on a low heat in a little bit of olive until they are soft. Use a ovenproof pot. Add the crushed garlic and chopped red chili and leave to simmer for a few minutes. Put the meat in the pan and sear it. Add the tomato paste, red wine and cinnamon, and stir well. Cover the meat with water and add bay leaves and rosemary. Cover with a lid and place in the oven. Leave to cook for about 1 1/2-2 hours, occasionally checking that it isn’t drying out, but it should reduce. Remove the pot from the oven and place it over a low heat.

Roughly chop the mushrooms and add to the meat, add salt and pepper to taste and let it simmer for another 15-30 minutes until the meat if falling apart and the sauce has reduced even further. Start on the cauliflower mash while the meat is simmering on the cooker. When the cauliflower is boiling heat a grill pan and add the green chilies. Turn the chilies regularly so that they do not burn. 

Cauliflower mash

serves 2

1 cauliflower head
100ml (1dl) double cream
100ml (1dl) water
20g butter

salt, pepper and ground nutmeg.

Pour the double cream and water into a pot. Divide the cauliflower into small pieces and add to the pot. Place over a low heat and let it cook until the cauliflower is soft. Make sure it doesn’t burn. When it is soft, add the butter and let it melt. Use a stick blender to puree the cauliflower until there are no lumps. Season with salt, pepper and ground nutmeg.

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