Beef Roast & Caramelized Onions

The concept was pretty simple: caramelize the onions and bake the meat in with the onions surrounding it.

Recipe below. But first, some pics.

Take 3 onions (medium):

Julienne thinly [long, thin, slices]

Put oil in a pan; use a bunch., cover the bottom. It's olive oil so it's good for you (Mediterranean diet and all that).

Decide that 3 onions are too many and only use two.
Sauté slowly over medium heat to extract the starches/sugars and get them good and brown (see below). This could take up a half an hour. Stir less often than you are inclined to.

Nice chunk of meat. it's obviously grainy so will need to cook slowly. Probably 125C [250F] instead of the usual 175C.

And cook it in liquid. In this case wrap it in lots of aluminum foil to cook it in its own juices. The onions will be in the packet too to add fluid and flavour.

Brown the meat in a frying pan. Really well.

This is not burnt, it's browned; really well browned. Remember, it's going to be wrapped in foil while baked and won't colour any further.

These are the onions, carmalized. Nice and coloured and sweetened.

Only oil and a touch of salt.

After an hour and a half in the oven (at 125C - or lower), wrapped, with the caramelized onions and 2 cloves (whole) of garlic, it looks like this when unwrapped.


Beef Roast & Caramelized Onion

  • ½ kg onions, julienne [1#] [long thin strips]
  • olive oil, generous
  • 1 t salt
  • ½ kg stewing beef (alito de añejo) [1#]
  • 1 C white wine (for deglazing the pans)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled & slightly crushed
  1. Sauté [fry] onions over medium heat for a long long time (30 minutes), until quite browned
    • Add a little salt towards the end
  2. Meanwhile, brown the meat very well, both sides and the edges
    • Deglaze the meat pan with ½ C dry white wine
    • Reduce almost completely and pour into the onions
  3. Finish deglazing the pan onion pan with a ½ C of dry white wine
    • Reduce
  4. Place half the onions on a large sheet of aluminum foil
  5. Top the onions with the meat
  6. Top the meat with the other half of the onions
  7. Top these onions with 2 smushed cloves of garlic
  8. Wrap the foil package up and seal the edges
  9. Stick it in the oven at 125C [250F] leave it there for 1½ hours
  1. Internal temp of the beef will be 65C when it's more or less done [150F] - then leave it to stew in its own juices for at least 10 minutes.
  2. When browning the meat, put it in the pan and leave it alone. Let the heat do its work. I, for example, left it on high heat for 1 full minute each side. It initially sticks to the pan but more or less releases once it's good and toasty.
  3. It's stewing beef so low slow cooking in fluids is the trick to getting this to tenderize
  4. The onions will start to turn brown (caramelize) and stick to the bottom of the pan after their water has evaporated; so, for the first half of the time you're softening and cooking them and it's only during the second part that any browning actually happens.
  5. Degalzing the pans gets the stuff that sticks to the pan to release and lets you uses these flavours in the rest of the dish- and it makes the pan much easier to clean later (no scrubbing)
  6. Reducing the "sauces" made when deglazing concentrates the flavours and evaporates most of the alcohol from the wine; preventing any "winey" acidic alcohol taste.
  7. On reflection the oven temp could have been even lower and the time even longer (100C for 2 hours maybe [210F])
When I tasted this dish I realized that I'd more or less duplicated, by (fortunate) accident, a dish that my mother used to make; some sort of onion-beef stew. But she didn't wrap it in foil and browned the onions less; and she certainly didn't use the white wine part of the recipe. There would have probably been a laurel leaf in it and flour to thicken the "gravy". I shall have to give her a call and see what the old family recipe was. Mom, if you're reading this drop us a line. maybe pull out the good old The Pillsbury Cookbook probably a 1960's edition) and see if I'm close to being right.

1 comment:

Shalee said...

You can count on my making this one... all of my favorite things in one dish!