200 ml (7 fl oz) red wine
1 tablespoon tomato purée
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 thyme sprigs or bay leaves
4 cloves
4 teaspoon ground allspice
300 g (10 oz) shallots, halved if large
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
750 g (12 lb) stewing beef, trimmed of fat and cut into large chunks
4 teaspoons cornflour
150 ml (4 pint) cold water
½ beef stock cube
salt and pepper


1.Mix the wine, tomato purée and oil in a shallow non-metallic dish. Add the herbs, spices and a little salt and pepper and mix together.
2.Mix in the shallots and garlic, then add the beef and toss in the marinade. Cover with clingfilm and marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
3.Preheat the slow cooker if necessary. Put the cornflour into a saucepan, mix in a little of the measurement water to make a smooth paste, then mix in the remaining water.
4.Drain the marinade from the beef into the pan and crumble in the stock cube. Bring to the boil, stirring.
5.Tip the beef, shallots and flavourings into the slow cooker pot and pour over the hot stock.
6.Cover with the lid and cook on high for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat and cook on low for 9-10 hours, or set to auto for 10-11 hours, until the meat is cooked through and tender.
7.Spoon into bowls and serve with toasted French bread and herb butter, if liked.
8.FOR LAMB STIFADO, mix together 200 ml (7 fl oz) white wine, tablespoon tomato purée, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 bay leaves, 2 teaspoons roughly crushed coriander seeds and sliced lemon, add the shallots and garlic and stir in 750 g (12 lb) diced lamb shoulder or leg.
9.Marinate in the refrigerator overnight, then continue as above. 20:

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