Beef with green olives


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Floyd Around the Med

Floyd Around the Med

By Keith Floyd

Published 2000

  • About

Greek stews, or stifados, tend to be served quite dry with a highly reduced sauce or gravy. This imparts a huge amount of flavour to the meat and also brings out the full flavour of the sauce. The following ingredients will be enough for roughly 6-8 people, more if you decide to serve it with rice or with macaroni or other pasta (I don’t think potatoes are appropriate here).


  • olive oil
  • 1.5 kg/ lb good-quality stewing beef, cut Into pieces at least the size of a matchbox
  • 2 large onions, very finely diced
  • 1 kg/ lb tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and finely diced (you will end up with about 500 g/1 lb 2 oz diced tomato)
  • ½ bottle red wine
  • 750 g/1 lb 10 oz green olives - absolutely NOT tinned ones; use the nice, big, nutty olives (if you wish you can stone them or the guests can spit out the stones)
  • sea salt and black pepper


Heat plenty of olive oil in a substantial casserole dish that is large enough to hold the meat in a single layer. Add the beef and fry until it is nicely browned. Now stir in the onions and brown them too. Season with salt and pepper. Next, stir in the tomato dice. Make sure everything is coated with olive oil; if necessary add more. Your pot at this stage should be sizzling, not steaming. Now pour in the red wine, bring to the boil and simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir in the green olives so that all the ingredients are combined, then pop on the lid and cook gently until the meat is tender and the wine and tomatoes have turned themselves into a thick sauce. Check halfway through the cooking process. If it is looking too dry, add a little more wine.