1. Add beef to large frying pan, with the olive oil, chopped onions, garlic, and cook on a high heat until the meat is sealed and the onions have turned soft.
2. Next, add the chopped tomatoes, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves, rosemary and a good pinch of black pepper. Keep stirring while the ingredients blend on a moderate heat.
3. Keep heating while adding the wine, vinegar and tomato paste. Stir well.
4. Turn out into a casserole dish – terracotta is best. Add warm water so as to cover the meat. Cook in oven until the meat is nearly cooked – about one hour.
5. While waiting, peel the baby shallot onions, wash them and shallow fry them in a little olive oil, until soft, not letting them burn.
6. Remove casserole from the oven, and add the shallots (but not the oil) to the simmering meat. Return to oven, and leave until the meat is thoroughly cooked (soft and tender) – add water as needed so that you end up with a thick sauce.
Best served with the whole casserole in the middle of the table. Traditionally, Stifado is simply served with plenty of fresh bread to ‘mop up’ the thick rich sauce.