Kokkinisto is a Greek beef stew that will change your perspective on comfort food! Infused with rich, bold flavors of cinnamon, cloves and red wine, beef kokkinisto is a hearty dish that pairs great with mashed potatoes or orzo.
Kokkinisto is a deliciously comforting Greek stew that consists of beef chunks simmered in a spiced tomato sauce.
It's super easy to make, and it's always one of the first things I make every year when the weather starts to turn chilly.
What makes beef kokkinisto different from other beef stews is the flavor. In true Greek manner, expect a fragrant sauce that's rich, bold and utterly delicious.
While kokkinisto is typically made with beef, you can also use lamb or even chicken for a lighter version.
This stew is typically served with rice, pasta, orzo or mashed potatoes.
Why you'll love kokkinisto
- It's an incredibly flavorful beef stew made with red wine and cinnamon - that's a winning combination right there!
- Kokkinisto tastes even better the next day, so make a large batch, and that's two dinners and or/lunch sorted.
- You can add more veggies to make the stew even more nutritious.
What goes into this Greek beef stew
Beef - Any type of stewing beef works for kokkinisto. If your pot is small, brown the meat in batches - you want it to be browned on all sides.
Onion, carrot and celery - Dice the veggies as large or small as you like. I prefer to cut them smaller because they cook quicker that way.
Leek - This is optional, but I highly recommend it because it adds an extra layer of flavor.
Garlic - it goes without saying that there's no such thing as too much garlic in a stew, so feel free to add as much as you want.
Tomato paste + diced tomatoes - The mix of tomato paste and diced tomatoes is the perfect combination for a perfectly balanced tomato-ey sauce. Fresh tomatoes also work, but you need to make sure they're very ripe.
Red wine - Any dry red wine works in kokkinisto, but I suggest using a wine you'd enjoy drinking. If you don't cook with wine, substitute it with extra beef broth and add a tablespoon of red vinegar.
Beef stock - Use your favorite beef stock in this recipe - stock cubes work just fine.
How to make beef kokkinisto
Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or a large, deep pan and brown the beef for 7-8 minutes over medium heat. Work in batches if needed to brown the meat on all sides and avoid overcrowding. Remove the beef from the pan with a slotted spoon and set it aside.
Add the onion, carrot and celery to the same pot and cook for 7-8 minutes. Next, add the leek and garlic and continue to cook for 5 minutes or until the veggies are tender, stirring occasionally.
Season to taste and serve with mashed potatoes, orzo or freshly cooked pasta.
Leftovers and storage
- Leftovers will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days in an air-tight container. Kokkinisto actually tastes better the next day, so it's a great stew to make ahead.
- Reheat the stew on the stovetop or in the microwave.
- You can freeze kokkinisto for up to 3 months. Allow it to cook completely before transferring it to freezer-friendly containers.
Recipe notes and tips
- The beef will be tender after 25-30 minutes of simmering. If you have time, you can simmer it on low heat for up to two hours to allow the flavors to develop even more.
- Don't skip the sugar - it helps to cut the acidity of the tomatoes.
- This Greek tomato stew is the perfect recipe for a slow cooker. Brown the meat and saute the veggies, then transfer to a slow cooker, add all the other ingredients and cook for 5 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
If you liked this kokkinisto recipe, you might also like some of my other easy recipes with beef:
- Beef Keema (Mince Curry)
- Instant Pot Beef Barley Soup
- Cabbage Roll Soup
- Instant Pot Stuffed Pepper Soup
- Easy Cheesy Taco Pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ lb (750 g) stewing beef, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 large carrot, sliced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 medium leek, sliced
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 125 ml dry red wine
- 1 can (14 oz/ 400g) diced tomatoes
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 ½ cups (800 ml) beef stock
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or a large, deep pan and brown the beef for 7-8 minutes over medium heat. Work in batches if needed to brown the meat on all sides and avoid overcrowding. Remove the beef from the pan with a slotted spoon and set it aside.
- Add the onion, carrot and celery to the same pot and cook for 7-8 minutes. Next, add the leek and garlic and continue to cook for 5 minutes or until the veggies are tender, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the tomato paste, fresh thyme and ground cloves, then add the red wine and cook for 2-3 minutes until the alcohol mostly evaporates.
- Next, stir in the diced tomatoes, sugar, bay leaves, cinnamon stick and beef stock. Add the cooked beef back to the pot, stir to combine and bring to a boil.
- Lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes or until the sauce thickens to your likening. Take out the bay leaves and cinnamon stick and stir in the fresh parsley.
- Season to taste and serve with mashed potatoes, orzo or freshly cooked pasta.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 297Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 354mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 3gSugar: 9gProtein: 15g
Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.