Sweet & Sour Greek Beef Stew with Olives, Raisins & Honey

A simple stew with complex layers of flavor. Try serving with one of Greece's red wines, such as Xynomavro or Agiorgitiko. To find some of the artisinal Greek products you'll need to make this, visit my online shop here, where you'll discover a host of lovingly curated Greek ingredients.


  • 3 pounds stewing beef cut into serving size pieces
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2/3 cup balsamic
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin Greek olive oil
  • 2 large onions finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 2 cups chopped canned plum tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons Greek honey
  • 1/2 cup Greek raisins
  • 1 lemon peeled, seeded and cut into thick rounds
  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt pepper to taste
  • 15 Kalamata olives
  • 4 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 1 cup fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large, wide pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and sear the meat, turning on all sides until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  2. Add the onions to the pot, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Stir in the garlic.
  3. Place the meat back in the pot over medium heat. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Add the wine and balsamic. Bring to a simmer and cook for a few minutes to burn off the alcohol. Add the tomatoes, honey, bay leaves, rosemary, raisins, and lemon slices. Add enough water, if needed, to just cover the meat.
  4. Cover and simmer for 1 ½ to 2 hours, or until the meat is tender. Fifteen minutes before removing from heat, add the olives and pine nuts. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper. Stir in the parsley and serve.

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