Braised Beef

Braising beef is fork-tender and delicious. This is a great way to make a cut of beef that is not as tender as the more expensive cuts and turn it into something with a ton of flavor. Learn how to braise beef in this simple recipe.

The goal with braised beef is cooking is low and slow in a pot that is covered. I am a big fan of dutch ovens for this process.

braised beef in a pot almost done

Video – How to braise beef

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs chuck roast
  • 1 onion
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 celery
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 16 oz home made chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil

Equipment

  • braiser
  • chef knife
  • cutting board

9 Steps for making braised beef

Season the beef

Generously salt the chuck roast with kosher salt. Skip the iodized salt as it has no use in the kitchen. You want to cover all sides of the beef with the salt. I don’t add pepper at this point because I don’t want to burn it when I am browning the beef.

If your not sure what meat to choose check out my post on the best beef for braising.

Let the beef rest as you do the other steps.

Prepare the vegetables

One of the best things you can do before you start cooking is to get everything ready beforehand. This way you’re not running around doing things when you could be tending to your dish.

For all braised dishes I recommend creating a mirepoix for the dish. This is created by cutting up onion, carrot, and celery.

Wash your celery and carrots. The idea is to get any dirt or residue off your vegetables before you cook.

Peel your onion and your carrots.

Cut up the onion, celery, and carrots. I do a rough chop, they are not going to be eaten from this dish they are just there to help create the flavor.

I suggest prepping your veggies before browning the meat so that they are ready to go when you pull your meat from the pan.

Bonus – Garlic this is not part of mirepoix but what is a recipe without it?

Brown the beef


What you are shooting for is creating the Maillard reaction with the beef. This is going to bring all kinds of flavor to the dish. This is done by browning your meat and that is why braised beef is so good.

If you have a dutch oven this works great. If you don’t then you want a pot or pan big enough to fit all the beef and the mirepoix on the bottom and also have a cover or at the very least foil that you can put in the oven during the final step of it cooking low and slow.

Start to heat your pan on the stovetop and then add oil to the bottom. You want an oil with a high smoke point like avocado oil or a good quality extra virgin olive oil.

Brown the beef in the dutch oven or frying pan and keep an eye to make sure you are not burning the meat, oil, or fond on the bottom of the pan. This is very important.

After you have gotten the beef browned nicely on all sides, go ahead and pull it from the pan.

Quick Tip

Oil Ready

To know if the oil is ready, make sure it’s not smoking, if so, it’s to hot. Get your fingers a little wet with water and then flick some in the pan. If the water evaporates quickly you are ready to go!

Saute the vegetables

Add your already prepared vegetables to the pan and stir them around a bit. Your goal here is to start to coat them with some of the fond that was left from the beef.

If they are starting to stick to the bottom of the pan go ahead and add a little water or if you have some homemade stock as I do, use that to bring some great flavor to the meat.

Watch the Fond! Whatever you do make sure that the bits on the bottom of the pan do not burn. Add some stock or water as needed.

As you’re sauteing the vegetable and the pan is heating up again go ahead and add the tomato paste. Work it around so that it actually gets cooked in the pan. This is going to release a ton of flavor from the paste.

Control the heat as needed, you want a balance of heat without burning the fond in the pan.

Deglaze the pan

I hope you were successful not letting the bits on the bottom of the pan burn.

Add some of the chicken, beef, or vegetable stock you are using and stir it around. You want it to remove the fond from the bottom of the pan and introduce it to the vegetables and the stock that you have added.

You can use all kinds of liquids for this. You can use red or white wine, water, or my favorite is homemade chicken stock. I make this stock when I make my chicken noodle soup or sometimes when I braise chicken and I use the carcass from the whole bird.

Season the vegetables

I like to add salt and fresh cracked pepper at this point to the veggies. I really don’t add pepper to the beef. The beef is more of a base for the meals I’m going to be cooking during the week and it will often be flavored then. But by all means, if you want to add pepper at this point you can.

The beef will absorb the flavor from the veggies as it braises.

Add the braised beef back to the pan

Place the beef back into the pan. Spread the beef over the vegetables. I tend to try to tuck it in nicely so that the bottom of the chuck roast is touching the bottom of the pan.

Add the remaining stock to the pan. You want to get about 1/3 the way up the beef. If you do not have enough stock depending on the size of your pot add some water. Now, if you have some crazy size pot than it may dilute the taste so you might be better off getting some more stock.

Slow cook the beef

Add the cover to the pan and slow cook the beef on the stovetop or in the oven. If you’re cooking it on the stovetop than you want to get it to a temp where you see a very light simmer. You do not want to be boiling the meat.

If your cooking it in the oven then shoot for 300 degrees. The plan is to cook the beef low and slow to give it time to breakdown the connective tissue in the meat and make it tender.

Half way through I like to baste the beef. I sometimes will flip it also.

Let the beef rest

After it has gone long enough and the meat will pull away very easily then you are done. Internal temp usually will be around 190° at this point.

This is one of the most important steps of braising. You want to make sure that the beef rests in the liquid that you were cooking it in.

Let it rest for at least 20 minutes and then serve.

The braised beef is now ready to add to your favorite dish. Make some mash potatoes or add the beef to a bed of rice. It is also so good to add to tacos or a breakfast scramble.

Learning to braise a technique that will really build your cooking game. If you are new to cooking read my post on how to learn to cook.

FAQ

What temperature should you braise beef at?

If you are using a dutch oven in the oven I like to go with 300 degrees. If you’re doing this on the stovetop you want to focus on getting a very light simmer.

Remember a dutch oven retains a lot of heat so you need to check it on the stove top.

What is a good braising beef?

The best cut of beef for braising I feel by far is the chuck roast. It has the fat that you want in a cheap cut of meat. Now, you can braise top round, and bottom round but they are a lot leaner without as much fat. Don’t forget that “Fat is Flavor”.

Back in the day, a brisket would have been a great cut and I still feel it is but it is way too expensive now because of the popularity so I would smoke the brisket on the grill.

Can you overcook braised beef?

I say yes! You absolutely can overcook the beef. You want to look for the beef to be fork-tender and most likely the beef will be in the 190+ degree range.

finished braised beef

Braised Beef | How to Braise Beef (So Tender)

Learn how to Braise Beef. This is a great way to take a not so tender cut and make it fork tender.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: braised beef recipe, how to braise beef
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 702kcal
Author: Bob

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs chuck roast
  • 1 onion
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 celery
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 16 oz home made chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil

Instructions

  • Season the beef with kosher salt generously sprinkling salt all over all saidesof the beef.
  • Gather your vegetables. Wash the carrots and celery and peel your onion and carrots.
    Rough chop your onions, carrots, and celery into roughly 1 in pieces and set aside.
  • Heat your pan and oil for browning the beef.
    Place your beef into the pan once the oil is good an hot. Brown all sides and ten pull it from the pan and set it aside.
  • Add your chopped veggies to the same pan you browned the beef in.
    Stir them around to get some of the fond flavors onto them.
    Add the tomato paste and work it around the pan.
  • Deglaze the pan with stock and stir it around getting all of the fond off the bottom of the pan.
  • Season your vegetables with salt and pepper.
  • Add the beef back to the pan making sure the bottom is sitting on the pan.
    Add the remaining stock about 1/3 of the way up the beef.
  • Cover the pot and let the beef slow cook at a light simmer or in the oven at 300 degrees.
    After an hour or so baste the beef.
  • Let the beef rest so that it will absorb the flavors in the pan. You want to do this with the lid off.

Nutrition

Serving: 6g | Calories: 702kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 69g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 235mg | Sodium: 972mg | Potassium: 1515mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 7838IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 8mg

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