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Braised Beef Chuck with French Onion Gravy

Braised Beef Chuck with French Onion Gravy

This recipe takes all the best parts of France's most famous entrée, transforming it into a rich sauce to envelop the tender beef. The beauty of this dish is that we braise a piece of chuck whole, meaning it cooks evenly and is impressive to pull apart at the table. It's a true one-pot-wonder where the onions are caramelised before the beef is braised slowly for hours with stock, thyme and verjus. The result is a deeply savoury braise made to be served with buttery mash. The leftovers make a wonderful base for a pot pie, too. 

Serves 6


120ml olive oil

1.8kg whole piece of beef chuck steak

1kg brown onions, sliced

2.2 litres beef stock

300ml verjus

120ml soy sauce

½ bunch thyme

¼ bunch rosemary

4 bay leaves

4 cloves of garlic, peeled

60g butter

Salt and pepper for seasoning


Season the piece of chuck steak all over with salt and pepper.

Warm the olive oil in a large, cast-iron lidded casserole pot to a medium-high heat. Sear the beef in the pot, frequently turning until it is well caramelised all over. Once browned, remove and set aside.

Add half the sliced onions to the pot and stir for a few minutes or until translucent. Add the verjus to deglaze, making sure to scrape up any caramelisation from the base of the pan.

Add the beef to the onions with the rosemary, thyme, bay and beef stock, then stir to ensure the beef is submerged (if it is not submerged you can either add some more liquid or add a small plate on top of the meat to push it underneath the liquid). Bring to a gentle simmer and cover with a lid, then turn the stove down to as low as possible and cook for four hours (or place in a preheated moderate oven for four hours). The beef should be tender and just falling apart.

Strain the braising liquid into a medium saucepan (discard the onion and herbs), and then bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the remaining onions and the garlic cloves and cook until the liquid has reduced by half. This should take about thirty minutes. Once reduced, whisk in the butter until it has dissolved, add the soy sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, divide the chuck into serving pieces, and generously spoon over the gravy. Serve with buttery mash.

Note: If using this recipe as the filling for a pie, remove the beef and add flour to thicken the sauce, whisking it through until combined. Pull the beef apart and stir through.

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