I've played around with this quite a bit as there aren't a mass of recipes available online for it - the basis comes from this Mamtas Kitchen recipe but I have tinkered with it quite a bit - depending on my family's tastes and preferences, what I've had in stock and most importantly, how I remember it from Corfu myself.
It can also be made with lamb if you prefer, but I've only ever had it with beef and don't be alarmed by the large amount of cinnamon - by the time it has cooked out, it's just really aromatic and flavoursome. I prefer the consistency using white wine, rather than red too, but feel free to experiment. I also transfer the slow cooker dish to the oven to melt the cheese - and last week we had the Stamna a day after cooking - and it seemed even better than normal, so is a great batch cook idea.
You can also cook this in an ordinary casserole dish in the oven at a very low heat of around 140 degrees for several hours.
Traditionally you would find this dish served individually in earthenware dishes which remain very hot - I always make a family sized dish, and dish up individually into cold bowls - which helps prevent burning little ones' mouths.
The below comfortably serves a family of four with some Dirty Greek Fries and crusty bread on the side. I cook in my slow cooker all day and the end result is a rich, glossy sauce and melt-in-the-mouth meat that falls apart at the touch of the fork. In a word, delicious.
- 500g beef shin (you could also use braising steak, or stewing steak)
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- Large pinch of salt
- Black pepper
- 1 large white onion
- 3 large carrots
- 4 large potatoes
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 jar passata
- 4 heaped tsp cinnamon
- 2 heaped tsp paprika
- 1/4 freshly ground nutmeg
- Pinch of white sugar
- 2 sprigs Rosemary
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 glass dry white wine
- 500ml beef stock (I use a Knorr Beef Stock Pot)
- Large handful grated hard cheese (Cheddar, Grana Padana, or even a Red Leicester works here)
Firstly cut the meat up into decent sized chunks and set aside. Drizzle a generous amount of olive oil into a pan and place onto a medium heat.
Now place the plain flour into a bowl and season very generously with black pepper and a pinch of salt. Stir a little and then place the beef pieces into the flour and move around to ensure they get a good coating of flour - this will ensure the sauce thickens nicely later on.
Now add the cinnamon to the pan and mix the beef around so it gets a good coating. Allow to cook for a minute or so.
Place the beef into the now hot pan and allow to just brown off a little on each side, then place into your slow cooker (or casserole dish).
Now pour the white wine into the still hot pan and allow to de-glaze the pan of any excess flavours and after a minute or so pour everything into the dish.
Next prepare the vegetables - peel and dice the onion, mince the garlic and add to the dish.
Peel the carrots into thick slices and place into the dish.
Peel the potatoes and cut into cubes; rinse them off a little, then place into the dish.
Add the remaining spices (paprika and nutmeg), the pinch of sugar, the passata, Rosemary and the made up stock. Now season one more time, mix together, pop the lid on and leave to cook for 6-8 hours on the slowest cooker method - or if using the higher/speedier mode then for 3-4 hours.
Don't touch the lid for the first two hours, but after that give it a stir every hour and watch it thicken, and fill your home with the most delicious aromas.
Once getting ready to serve pop the oven on high - grate the cheese up, and place a little mounds in various spots across the cooked Stamna dish and place the interior part of the dish into the heated oven and once the cheese the melted, you are ready to dish up. Enjoy!
If, like me, you love a hearty Greek dish in the colder autumn and winter months here are a few more you may enjoy: