A family favourite passed down through the generations, this classic Greek casserole teams slow-cooked osso bucco with a rich, herbaceous tomato sauce.
- 4 large pieces of beef osso bucco (substitute with 6 small, you can also use veal)
- 20 whole small onions, peeled (I use pickling onions)
- 7–8 garlic cloves
- 3 small sprigs rosemary
- 4 small bay leaves (substitute with 2 large)
- 6 whole pimento
- 5 whole cloves
- 2 whole nutmeg, halved (substitute with ½ tsp ground nutmeg)
- ⅓ cup white vinegar
- 1 tbsp salt
- 410 g tomato passata
- 4 tbsp tomato paste
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- steamed rice (to serve)
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
You will need a good quality large pot with a lid. I use a Chassuer cast iron pot.
Mix tomato paste with vinegar, set aside.
Start layering the ingredients in your cast iron pot. First, place the meat on the base, then the onions, followed by the garlic, spices and salt and pepper.
Add the tomato passata, vinegar with tomato paste and oil.
Top with the bay leaves and fresh rosemary sprigs.
Cover pot with a lid and put on a medium heat for a few minutes to warm up, then turn the heat down to a low simmer for 1½ hours. Do not open the lid or stir at all. Every 30 minutes just give the pot a gentle shake.
Meanwhile, prepare your rice. I cook mine using the absorption method, which is 1 cup rice to 2 cups water. To make, put 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium-size pot on a medium heat. Once the oil starts to heat up, add the rice. When the rice tips start to become translucent, add the water. Turn the heat to low and put the lid on. After 10 minutes, check the rice to see if the water is fully absorbed. Once cooked, turn the heat off and put the lid back on to keep warm.
After 1½ hours check the meat. If it is not falling apart, put the lid back on and cook for a further 30 mins. Once the meat looks ready, turn the heat off and serve your stifado with rice.