Braised Beef with (a lot of) Onions

Braised Beef

Does any dish conjure the image of a cozy mountain cabin more than braised beef? It’s the quintessential winter stick-to-your-bones fare. This dish takes some time, but other than slicing one million onions (ok… it’s only eight…), its pretty hands-off.Β  It’s delicious the day it’s made, but its true magic is that it’s a leftover MVP. Your Wednesday self will thank you wholeheartedly.

On the topic of leftovers here’s are some suggestions: make a simple beef stew, combine it with some tomato sauce and sauteed veggies for a delicious pasta dish, beef dip sandwiches, braised beef tacos … you get the idea. Hungry yet? Let’s get to it!

Braised Beef with Onions
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Adapted slightly from recipe in Joshua McFadden's Six Seasons. (A cookbook I'd highly recommend!)
Serves: 4 - 6
  • 3 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, cut into three pieces
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 pounds onions (about 8 medium sized)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 5 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 1 small bunch of thyme
  • 1 cup dry white wine (You can sub beef broth if you're wine adverse.)
  1. Season the beef with salt and pepper and leave on the counter to come to room temperature.
  2. Preheat the oven to 300 F.
  3. Slice the onions as thinly as possible. I used a mandoline set at ¼ inch, but a good, sharp knife will also do the trick. (Note: You may as well turn on an episode of This is Us because you're about to cry. A lot).
  4. On the stove, heat a large, heavy bottom, ovenproof pot with a lid (like this one!) over medium-high heat.
  5. Add olive oil and lay beef in pan. Cook for about 6 minutes or until the side is deeply browned. (Don't fuss with it! Leave it alone and let it brown!) Flip the pieces and do the same to the other side. (If the juices in the pan start to darken, lower the heat a bit.)
  6. Add butter, onions, garlic, and thyme. Stir it all together. Use the moisture from the butter and onions to deglaze any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  7. Push as many of the onions as you can under the meat and cook until the onions are very soft, about 10 min. Your kitchen should really smell like onions at this point. (If the onions start to brown at any point, turn down the heat a little).
  8. Pour the wine in (and a glass for yourself!) and bring to a gentle simmer.
  9. Cover and pop it in the oven.
  10. Cook until the meat is very tender and the juices are thick. For me, it took about two hours, but can take up to three. After an hour and half, start checking on it every thirty minutes. (And take a deep breathe! This is a very unfussy cut of meat, you aren't going to over cook it.)
  11. When finished, pull the meat out and let rest for 10 min. Slice or shred with a fork.
  12. Mix the shredded meat back in with the onions and dig in!

PS: This is the perfect side dish!