Beef with caramelised baby onions and rosemary

Beef with caramelised baby onions and rosemary

Leiths How to Cook
Peter Cassidy


Quantity Ingredient
1kg chuck or feather blade steak
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
250g button onions or shallots
3 carrots
1/4 celeriac
2-3 rosemary sprigs
1/2 bunch parsley
1 garlic clove
500ml Brown chicken and veal stock
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons butter, softened and mixed with 2 teaspoons flour (beurre manie), if needed
freshly ground black pepper

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
Mashed potatoes


  1. Heat the oven to 150°C.
  2. Trim the meat of any surface fat and sinew and cut into large chunks, about 2.5–3 cm. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a flameproof casserole over a medium to high heat. Season the meat with salt and, working in batches, brown it evenly all over. Deglaze the casserole with water after each batch and start each batch with clean oil. If these juices (the déglaçage) don’t taste bitter, reserve them to add to the sauce later. As each batch browns, transfer the meat to a bowl.
  3. Blanch the button onions in boiling water for 1 minute. Remove and leave until cool enough to handle, then trim off the hairy end and peel, leaving them as natural looking as possible. Peel the carrots and celeriac, cut the carrots into thick slices and the celeriac into 1.5 cm cubes. Finely chop enough rosemary and parsley leaves to give you ½ tablespoon of each and peel and crush the garlic.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in the casserole and brown the onions, transferring them to a clean bowl once they have browned. Brown the carrots and celeriac and transfer them to a separate bowl once they have browned. Add the stock and déglaçage, if using, to the casserole and bring to a simmer.
  5. Add the bay leaf, garlic, chopped rosemary and half of the chopped parsley to the casserole, with salt and pepper to taste. Add the meat, cover and cook in the oven for 2½–3½ hours. Check from time to time to ensure the stew is not boiling vigorously; it should be very gently simmering.
  6. After 2 hours, check to see if the meat is becoming tender. If it is, add the browned baby onions and continue to cook for another 30 minutes. If the meat still seems tough, leave it for another 20–30 minutes before adding the onions. After another 30 minutes, add the carrots and celeriac.
  7. When the meat is tender and can be cut easily with the side of a fork or spoon, and the vegetables are soft, remove from the oven and strain, reserving the sauce.
  8. Return the sauce to the casserole, taste and reduce over a medium heat if necessary to concentrate the flavour, or thicken with beurre manié (the butter and flour mixture), then taste again and adjust the seasoning. Discard the bay leaf.
  9. Return the meat and vegetables to the sauce and reheat gently. Serve the beef stew sprinkled with the chopped parsley on a bed of mashed potatoes. Delicious with steamed kale or other greens.


  • Beef with root vegetables and thyme: Use thyme instead of rosemary. Peel and cut 2 small turnips into 1.5 cm chunks and brown with the carrots and celeriac. Any root vegetable can be used in place of the carrots, celeriac and turnips.

    Beef with red wine and thyme: Replace the rosemary with thyme and omit the parsley. Replace 200 ml of the stock with red wine and add before the stock in step 4, allowing the wine to come to a simmer before you add the stock.

A note on slow-cooked dishes...

  • It is important for the pan to be well sealed to minimise evaporation. If the lid is not tight-fitting, or the casserole is rather large for the quantity of ingredients, place a dry cartouche over the surface, in direct contact with the ingredients, before putting the lid on.
Leiths School of food and wine
cookery course
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again