About this recipe: An authentic Greek beef stifado that is slow cooked in a rich red wine and tomato sauce for 4, 5, or even 6+ hours until meltingly tender. (I once cooked this stifado on the hob over two days for more than 13 hours in total and the beef had a "fudge" like consistency). In Greece this is served in a bowl by itself with just crusty bread, but I like to serve some kind of potato with it, roast or mash work really good with it, and feel free to serve your favourite veg on the side too.
Fantastic served with homemade garlicky ciabatta bread.
There is absolutely no need to brown the beef first but if you feel you must, then go for it.
Shallots and pickling onions can be difficult to peel, but if you submerge them in boiling water for a couple of minutes the skins will be easier to peel. Just leave the root on so the onions stay whole while cooking.
All wines differ in acidity so you may (or may not) need to add just a pinch of sugar at the end. The finished sauce should be rich with a background hint of red wine vinegar but not too sweet.