SERVES 4 | PREPARATION TIME: 20 MINUTES | COOKING TIME: 1 HOUR
TV Chef Theo Michaels says: "This is a vegetarian twist on a classic Greek dish using chunky halloumi and good quality olive oil – a perfect hearty supper inspired by the flavours of Cyprus with extra virgin olive oil and halloumi cheese from OliveOlive. We recommend serving this Stifado with mashed potato, rice or even some good quality bread to dip into."
And here's Theo himself to show us how its done:
1 butternut squash small
400g baby onions peeled, left whole
125ml red wine
12 peppercorns whole
1 stick cinnamon
200g tinned tomatoes
200ml chicken stock (replace with vegetable stock for veggie version)
1 tbsp tomato puree
3 bay leaves
45ml red wine vinegar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 pinch sea salt
Baby onions: Top and tail the baby onions, place into a bowl and submerge in boiling water (this makes them easier to peel), while they are submerged prepare the butternut squash. Once butternut squash is in the oven, drain the onions and peel them whole.
Butternut Squash: Peel and cube the butternut squash into 1 inch chunks, season with salt and pepper and a splash of olive oil and place into a preheated oven for 25 minutes. Once cooked and tender, use a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon to break down the squash (it doesn't have to be fully mashed but broken up) and reserve.
Stifado: Pour enough olive oil into the pan to cover the base and fry the baby onions for a few minutes until lightly browned, season with salt and pepper and then pour in the red wine and reduce by two-thirds. Then add the peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon stick, tinned tomatoes, chicken stock, tomato puree, bay leaves. Part cover and leave to simmer gently for 12 minutes to fully cook the baby onions. After the 12 minutes, stir in the coarsely mashed squash into the pan (this will thicken the sauce). Add a splash more stock or water if too thick, and leave on the heat to keep warm.
Halloumi: Finally, prepare the halloumi. Cut the halloumi into 1.5inch chunks, dust with the ground cinnamon and in a smoking hot pan, add a drizzle of olive oil and fry the halloumi for one minute. Once the halloumi has some colour stir it into the stifado. Leave to cook, uncovered for a few minutes for the halloumi to soften and then remove from the heat. Taste adding more salt or vinegar as necessary and then serve with an extra drizzle of olive oil.