Beef Stew with Caramalised Onions

On Friday night at my Belgian Chef’s course we did a Beef Stew with Potato Croquants.  I was inspired.  It was a cold, wet and windy Sunday afternoon, and so I decided to adapt the Beef Stew that we did on Friday night, and make it a little more my own.  Here it is.   I hope you enjoy it, I certainly did!

Serves 4:

600g Beef

1 onion

2 carrots

2 celery

1 bottle of Beer (I used Leffe Blond, because that is what i had in my fridge)

300ml of good Beef Stock + approximately 75ml for the onions.

1 Bouquet Garni

2 garlic cloves



2 tbsp flour

1 tbsp tomato paste

Vegetable Oil

15 Shallots

1tbsp sugar

1tsp of salt

50g of butter

  1. Pre-heat to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Prepare the flour, by lightly browning it in a frying pan.   Place it in a frying pan (with nothing else in it), and do not leave it.  Keep stirring it, until it goes light brown.
  3. Heat  a large saucepan (one which is suitable for the oven), when it is hot, add some oil, and lightly brown the meat.  Remove the meat, and keep to one side.
  4. Add the carrots, celery, and onion.  Stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to get all the juices from the meat.  Leave, on a medium heat, occasionally stirring for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the tomato paste, and continue to stir, and cook for a couple of minutes.
  6. Add the flour, salt, and pepper, and continue to stir, and cook for a couple of minutes.
  7. Add the beer, and bring to the boil.  Add the beef stock, this will be approximately 300ml, however, please only add stock until it just covers the meat (it may require more or less depending on   Then add the garlic and the Bouquet Garni.  Bring it back to the boil.  Cover it, and place it in the oven for about 1 hour, until the meat is tender.
  8. To make the caramelised onions, first you have to peel the shallots.  To do this, place them in a pan of boiling water for about 30 seconds.  Remove the onions, chop the top and tails off, and peel them.
  9. Rub the butter all over the bottom of a saucepan.  Sprinkle over the sugar, and salt, and layer the onions over the bottom (only add one layer of onions).  Add beef stock, until it is ¾ of the way up the onions.

10. Add a cartouche – this means, that you cover it with greaseproof paper.  To do this, the easiest way is to cut a size of greaseproof paper to the size of the pan.  Fold it in half, and half again, until you have a square.  Now, half it, to make a triangle.Half and half the triangle again.  Measure the size of the triangle by putting the point into the middle of the pan, and cutting the end to the size of the pot.  Open it up, and you will have a circle that will fit the pan.

11. Cover the pan, bring to the boil, and finish in the oven for about 15 minutes.

12. When the meat is ready, remove the meat, and sieve the sauce into a fresh saucepan.  Ensure you squeeze out all of the juices from the vegetables, and throw the vegetables away (or you  could keep them in, if you wanted, but for a more refined sauce, you would throw them away).  Bring the sauce up to boil, and reduce, until you have a nice syrupy sauce.  If you have some liquid left from the onions, add this also to the reduction.

13. Add the meat, and onions to the sauce, and serve.

14. I served this with mashed potatoes, and Mange Tout.  Delicious!

To find out how to cook the perfect Mange Tout, click here.


2 thoughts on “Beef Stew with Caramalised Onions

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