As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Madeira beef with braised onions is warm, comforting and totally delicious!
Beef Stew Is Winter Comfort Food
Is there anything more warming and comforting than a good beef stew? The answer to that is not too many things! This Madeira beef with braised onions is one of those stews.
A great stew can always be made better with the addition of different yet tasty ingredients. Since I like the way wine flavors food, I will add it to enhance the flavor. My favorite wine to use with beef is Madeira so you guessed it; that’s what I used here. It imparts a very distinctive flavor. That’s my choice but whatever red wine you like to cook with is perfectly fine. It’s all about individual choice–so don’t run out and buy stuff you don’t have. If you have a cabernet on hand, that’ll work here. Another rule of thumb is you never cook with a wine that you wouldn’t drink. The stuff Julia Child coined as “rot gut.”
Fancy White Onions–YUM
That’s right; the kind you’d use in creamed onions. In fact my recipe for caramelized creamed onions is what you’re using here. Minus the cream, of course.
What you’ll be doing here is browning the onions. That’s all covered in the linked post.
Because of the onions, this is pretty much a hack of coq au vin with beef substituted for chicken.
As far as the mushrooms go–they can be left out if you hate them or don’t have them. I had no fresh ones so what you see is the canned kind. I always have at least one can of those in my pantry.
Best Cut Of Beef
Hands down, that’s chuck.
What I generally do is buy a chuck roast, on sale of course, and cut it up into 2-3-inch chunks. For dishes such as this, I personally prefer larger chunks of meat and shy away from pre-cut “stew” meat. Mainly that’s more expensive because of the added labor and it’s pretty simple to cut it up yourself so why pay more,
Always make sure you pat the meat dry with paper towels as “wet” meat won’t brown it will steam. Also never crowd the pan. Brown in batches if you have to.
Madeira Beef with Braised Onions
- 2 lbs beef chuck roast cut in 2-3-inch pieces
- 2 tbs butter
- 1 tbs oil
- 8 oz button mushrooms fresh or canned
- 1 lb small white onions browned
- 1 cup Madeira wine
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/4 tsp dried
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 3 tbs flour
- 1/4 cup water
- Heat a large (best size is 5 Q/L) dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add butter and oil. When butter stops foaming, add the beef and brown on all sides. Remove to a plate.
- In the same dutch oven, add the mushrooms and cook until they begin to brown.
- Deglaze the pan with the Madeira. Add the beef back to the pot along with the bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 1 1/2-2 hours or until beef is tender.
- While beef is simmering, prepare browned onions per this method (but do NOT add the cream). When onions are browned, set aside.
- If you want a thickened gravy, combine the flour and water making sure there are no lumps. Add to the pan, stirring until thickened. Cook for 5 more minutes.
- Add the onions to the pan and heat through. Remove bay leaf and thyme sprigs (if fresh was used) before serving.