Chestnut Stifado is one of the easiest festive recipes you can cook right now!
Stifado is a traditional Greek braise that features pearl onions usually in equal quantities to the amount of meat that is being braised with them. The first time I ever ate stifado was in my family’s village on the island of Crete. They harvested a rabbit for my birthday and braised it with pearl onions and aromatic spices.⠀
However, this recipe is a different take. If you’re lucky enough to be on Crete in the cooler months, you may come across Chestnut Stifado. Like in the traditional meat stew, cooks braise chestnuts with pearl onions. The result is an intoxicating tomato sauce laced with cinnamon and cloves. This recipe is delicous to eat on its own, over some rice, mashed potatoes or winter squash, or noodles.
To me Chestnut Stifado is the perfect holiday side dish with its festive flavors and ingredients. It will also impress all your guests with special diets as it’s vegetarian/vegan/gluten free.⠀I call that a win-win for easy entertaining.
A note on ingredients
People use vinegar most traditionally as the acidic component in stifado recipes. But in this case you could use a fruity red wine if you have some on hand, or even a mixture of both to your taste.
What made this dish so easy was using chestnuts from Melissa’s Produce that were already peeled, steamed, and vacuum sealed, so they’re super fresh right out of the package. (Trader Joe’s also carries these.) I also loved Melissa’s assorted pearl onions that I blanched ahead of time to make peeling a breeze.⠀
Starting off the dish with a fruity extra virgin olive oil is also key. For this recipe, I used Garcia de la Cruz extra virgin olive oil. You can find it in the U.S. at most Whole Foods stores.
Thanks to Melissa’s Produce and Garcia de la Cruz Olive Oil for the ingredients!⠀