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3.77 from 17 votes

Lamb Stifado - Red Wine Stew With Pearl Onions

A luscious Greek stew, Lamb Stifado is slowly-cooked in lots of red wine, with sweet spices and pearl onions.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time3 hours
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Greek
Keyword: gluten-free, lamb, stew
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 825kcal


  • 2 kilograms / 4.4 pound lamb cuts (leg and or shanks) preferably of young aged animal either Baby or Spring lamb
  • 2 liters red wine
  • 3 large garlic cloves cut in half
  • 4 dried bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon allspice berries
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 6 tablespoons tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons grape molasses (or 1,5 tablespoon honey instead)
  • 35 small pearl onions
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt


  • Heat a generous splash of olive oil in a wide cooking pot over high heat. Sear the meat parts on all sides. Do this in batches so the temperature of the oil keeps nice and high and the meat gets seared properly.
  • Pour in the wine and all of the seasonings and spices as well as the garlic cloves. Season with kosher salt.
  • The wine in the pot should be just enough to cover the meat almost completely. Wait until it starts to simmer. Then add the lid on the pot, leaving a small open space on one side for steams to escape.
  • Reduce heat to low and cook for about 1 and a half hour to two hours. Ideally, you shouldn't use any water in this recipe as it will change the final flavor of the dish. So in order to avoid this, keep the temperature low and don't let the food in the pot get to any more than a low, gentle simmer until the meat is tender enough.
  • After one hour and 30 minutes prick the meat to check if it's tender. If not cook for 30 minutes more. If it feels tender enough, proceed with adding the onions.
  • For the onions, heat a splash of olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add the pearl onions and cook for a few minutes until deep golden all over.
  • Transfer them to the pot with the meat. Cook for at least 50 minutes more from the time you add the onions to the pot. Towards the last 30 minutes raise the temperature to medium or medium-high depending on how much liquid there is still left in the pot. Cook until there is just enough sauce in the pot to cover the ingredients by half.
  • Turn the heat off and ideally let the meat rest in the pot for 15-20 minutes before serving.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 825kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 141mg | Sodium: 312mg | Potassium: 1626mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 137IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 149mg | Iron: 7mg