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Chestnut Stifado

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If you’re familiar with Greek cuisine, then you’ve heard of Stifado. It’s a slow cooked dish usually containing lots of onions, spices and either rabbit or hare. In modern Greek cooking, beef or veal have also become a favourites.

Like many cuisines, there are regional differences and such is the case with this Cretan inspired Chestnut Stifado. There’s chestnuts, lots of onions, earthy mushrooms and chunks of sweet potatoes.

Tomatoes, wine and spices round out the flavours and are the backbone of this rich sauce. A filling vegetarian dish that will surprise you with it’s complex flavours, despite being such an easy dish.

To speed up preparation of the dish, look for vacuum packed roasted and cooked chestnuts at your local supermarket. Great as a snack or…a stifado!

Chestnut Stifado

(serves 4)

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
12 small onions, peeled
1 med onion, peeled and sliced
15 Cremini or button mushrooms, halved
2-3 cloves garlic, smashed
3 sweet potatoes peeled and cut into large chunks 
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 cup tomato passata (puree)
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 bay leaves
6-7 Allspice berries
sea salt pepper
hot water
more extra-virgin olive oil to taste
optional: splash of red wine vinegar
  1. Place a deep, wide skillet on your stovetop over medium-high heat, add 1/4 cup olive oil and once hot, saute the small onions until lightly browned. Now add the sliced onion, chestnuts, mushrooms and garlic and turn down the heat to medium. Add some salt and pepper and cook for 5-6 minutes while stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the sweet potatoes, tomato paste, tomato passata and stir in. Add the wine, bay leaves, allspice, a bit more salt and pepper and stir in.
  3. Add remaining olive oil, enough hot water to almost cover all the ingredients. Once the contents have just returned to a boil, adjust heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 30 minutes.
  4. Uncover, check that onions and sweet potatoes are cooked by piercing with a fork. If not, cook another 10 minutes and add water if needed (covered).
  5. Uncover, if the sauce is thick, take off the heat and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. If soupy, cook uncovered another 5-10 minutes. You may now add a splash of red wine vinegar if you like a bit of tang to your dish.
  6. Divide and serve with lots of crusty bread.

Tip: you can use equal amounts of pumpkin or butternut squash instead of sweet potato

© 2020, Peter Minaki. All rights reserved.

The post Chestnut Stifado first appeared on KALOFAGAS | GREEK FOOD & BEYOND.


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