Braised Beef Recipe
For juicy, tender beef that really does melt in your mouth, nothing beats a great braised beef recipe.
Dutch oven cooking really comes into its own here and makes preparation simple: you can sear your meat on the stove first, and then cook it nice and slow in the oven, without having to change pans.
If you are looking to really give your beef an even cooking so that it can really soak in all of the juices, we recommend using a double dutch oven. Cast iron is great for slow cooking tougher cuts of meat because it is able to maintain an even temperature. You can also use enameled dutch oven for this recipe.
Don't wait for a special occasion! This recipe is so easy, and yet it tastes like you spent hours in the kitchen. Serve up the most tender braised beef ever, and get ready to impress!
You may have been a little intimidated by the name the first time you heard it. So, let's answer the question "How do I braise beef?" as simply as possible so that even a novice cook, will feel confident enough to whip up this classic.
Hearty Braised Beef
- 4 tbsp of butter, divided
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 3 carrots, cut to 1-in slices
- 2 leeks, washed and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp of Worchestershire sauce
- 3-4 lbs of beef chuck
- 1/2 cup of flour
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1/2 tsp of pepper
- 1 tsp each of cumin and paprika
- 1 cup of dry, high-quality red wine
- 1 cup of beef broth or stock
- 1 sprig of fresh rosemary and thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- Sprigs of fresh parsley (optional, placed on top of each serving as decoration)
- Heat half the butter in your Dutch oven over medium heat. Saute the onions, celery, and carrots for a few minutes, or till the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Pour in the balsamic vinegar and Worchestershire sauce, and stir for a few seconds to glaze the pan (to get out all the caramelized bits of vegetables!) Then remove the vegetables from the Dutch oven, and set them aside in a separate bowl or dish.
- Prepare the chuck roast by patting it dry with paper towels (this will help it caramelize).
- Combine the flour, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Roll the meat in the flour mixture, coating it evenly on all sides.
- Add the other half of the butter to your Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Put in the chuck roast and sear it till the outside is golden brown, turning it to get all sides evenly caramelized.
- As the meat sears, preheat your oven to 300°F.
- Turn off the stove and add the remaining ingredients to the Dutch oven.
- Place the Dutch oven in the middle of your oven and bake for about 3 hours*
- Before serving, take out the bay leaf and the sprigs of thyme and rosemary.
- If desired, you can make a quick gravy with the remaining juice in the Dutch oven: simply simmer the juices on the stove till they reduce nicely (20-30 mins), OR whisk in a few tablespoons of cornstarch (add in an equivalent amount of cold water too) while simmering over medium heat, till the gravy is as thick as you like.
*Note: Test the meat with a fork: if it isn't yet fork-tender, it will need more time. Be careful not to overcook it: you're better off testing it after 2 hours rather than discovering it's too late!
Braised beef FAQs
What is beef braising?
What is braised beef? Basically, it's meat that has been cooked in high, dry conditions first, followed by low-heat, moist conditions. The meat is seared first over high heat in a bit of oil in a pan and then cooked slowly either on the stove or in the oven, while partially covered in liquid.
For best results, you want the outside of your meat to be caramelized and crisp, and the inside tender and soft, with the whole dish full of flavor.
Just sear your beef in a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven first: that will give you the caramelized crust. Then once you add your liquid, the meat is covered and cooked slowly at a lower temperature, which is what makes the meat so tender.
What cut of beef is best for braising?
You want the parts of the animal that contain lots of muscle and/or connective tissue. Therefore the best cuts for a nice beef braise are the rump, leg, shoulder, shank, oxtail, brisket, and chuck.
The great thing about all of these cuts is that they are less expensive than other cuts of beef, and when you know how to braise meat successfully, you get wonderfully tender meat for less money.
What is braising beef? Is there a special cut that I need to buy?
This label can refer to any of the cuts mentioned above, any of which are suitable for braised beef recipes.
How long does it take to braise beef?
You want to braise your beef from one and a half to three hours, which is quite a wide range of time, so once your beef has been cooking for an hour and a half, test it with a fork. As soon as it's tender, it's done. You don't want to braise your beef for any longer than necessary because otherwise, it will become tough.
The general rule is to allow one hour of braising for each pound of meat.
What should I serve braised beef with?
- Homemade mashed potatoes
- Your favorite noodles or pasta... or gnocchi, any flavor
- Brown, white, or wild rice
- Cooked buckwheat or quinoa
- A mixture of braised vegetables, such as kale, butternut squash, and onions
- New potatoes (you could even toss these into the Dutch oven for the last 30 mins of cooking!)
- Green beans with slivers of garlic
Do I have to use flour for this recipe?
The flour adds an additional tasty crust to the meat. You don't have to use it, you can just coat the meat in salt and pepper and sear it. Another alternative, if you're gluten-free, is to use gluten-free flour instead, which will work just as well.
Should braising liquid cover the meat?
Don't cover the meat with liquid, otherwise, it will boil, not braise. You want your liquid to come up to about half the level of the meat in your Dutch oven.
Beef recipes that cover the meat with liquid are more suitable for soups and stews.
How long will cooked meat last?
If you're lucky enough to have leftovers, cooked meat will last 3-4 days in a refrigerator, or up to 6 months in the freezer. Just be sure to wait until the dish has completely cooled down, and seal portions in airtight containers. When reheating, be sure to simmer the meat for at least 30 minutes. You can do this on the stove, or in your oven at 325°F (you may have to add a bit of extra liquid).
Make sure you leave any leftovers in the braising liquid when storing so that the meat stays as moist as possible.
What other meats can I braise?
Lamb, chicken, and pork are also delicious meats when braised.
There you have it! This simple yet classic recipe will give you the confidence you need to keep venturing out and most importantly bring a smile to everyone that sits down at your table! Enjoy this braised beef recipe!
If you enjoyed this recipe, check out our other delicious Dutch oven recipes.
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