500 g strong white bread flour
1 tbsp caster sugar
10 g fast action dried yeast
10 g salt
350 ml water
2 tbsp olive oil
100 g black olives
3 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
1/2 cinnamon stick
6 allspice berries crushed
6 whole cloves
2 tsp dried oregano
250 ml red wine
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 kg beef short rib
20 pearl onions
4 plum tomatoes
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp tomato purée
350 ml beef stock
1 kg white potatoes
2 l vegetable oil
2 tsp hot smoked paprika
5 sprigs fresh oregano
200 g Greek yoghurt
- Tip the flour into the bowl of a stand mixer (or a mixing bowl if kneading by hand). Add the yeast and sugar to one side of the bowl and the salt to the other. Start to mix and pour in the water and the 2 tbsp of olive oil into the bowl until the dough feels soft but not sticky. Knead the dough for 10-15 minutes, until the sides of the bowl are clean.
- Roughly chop the olives and add them to the bowl. Give it a final gentle mix to incorporate them through the dough then cover the bowl in Cling Film and prove in the fridge overnight for the best results, or in a warm room for about 90 minutes, until it has doubled in size.
- Peel and smash the garlic cloves and add them to a large mixing bowl. Throw in the bay leaves, cinnamon stick, allspice berries, cloves and dried oregano. Pour in the red wine and the red wine vinegar then add the beef ribs. Cover as much of the ribs as possible, cover the bowl with Cling Film and leave to marinate overnight, or at least for a few hours.
- Preheat the oven to 160°C.
- Peel the pearl onions, keeping them whole. Roughly chop the plum tomatoes.
- Pour the 3 tbsp of olive oil for the stew into a large saucepan and put it over a high heat. Pick the ribs out of the marinade, pat them dry, season with plenty of salt and pepper and add them to the hot oil. Fry for 2-3 minutes per side, until they're a deep golden brown on all sides. Transfer them to a plate.
- Add the onions to the pan and fry for 5 minutes, until they soften and are beginning to brown slightly. Add the tomato purée and fry for another 1-2 minutes, being careful not to let it burn.
- Add the chopped tomatoes along with the beef marinade, scrape the bottom of the pan and allow the alcohol to burn off before adding in your stock. Season with salt and pepper. Return the beef ribs to the pan, making sure they're almost covered by the liquid.
- Place a lid on the saucepan and place in into the oven for 2 hours.
- Remove the ribs from the oven and transfer the ribs from the sauce to a chopping board. Remove the bones and use a knife cut them into manageable chunks.
- Meanwhile, put the sauce over a high heat and leave it to reduce for 15-20 minutes, until thick enough to coat the onions. Return the cubed meat to the pan and keep it warm over a very low heat.
- Place the proved dough into a deep, greased baking tray. Spread the dough out to the corners of the tray into an even layer, cover with Cling Film and prove for another 30 minutes at room temperature.
- Increase the oven temperature to 200°C.
- Bake the dough in the oven for 30 minutes, until golden, well risen and the inside registers 90°C when probed with a thermometer, then leave to cool.
- Slice the potatoes into thin, even batons. Pour the oil into a large saucepan, filling only 2/3rds of the way up and put it over a high heat. Preheat the oil to 130°C. Never leave the pan unattended.
- Carefully place the potatoes into the fryer (you may have to do this in batches) and fry until a very light golden skin begins to form. Remove the chips from the oil and place onto some kitchen towel.
- Increase the heat of the oil to 180°C. Carefully return the chips to the oil and cook until they turn a deep golden brown. Transfer them back to a clean sheet of kitchen towel and toss with the hot smoked paprika and a little salt.
- Use a bread knife to carefully cut the top off the bread, like a lid, leaving a wide, deep bread bowl. Ladle the stifado into one side of the bread bowl and scoop your fries into the other side.
- Garnish with some ripped fresh oregano leaves and dollops of Greek yoghurt. Serve in the middle of the table and let people dig in!