Friday, 4 September 2009

Beef with Mushrooms and Red Onion

I actually made this a little while back, but never got around to posting it up. The beef in this dish gets fork-tender, and (though I ate it in mid-summer) is the perfect dish to leave simmer on the stove as the cooler weather comes in.

Ingredients serves 6-8

1.5kg/3lb 5oz beef braising steak, thickly sliced
3 red onions, thinly sliced
600ml/1 pint boiling water
15g/½oz dried porcini mushrooms
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp plain flour
425ml/¾ pint port or red wine
250g/9oz chestnut mushrooms, whole, or halved if large
handful chopped parsley, to serve


This recipe tells you to preheat the oven, but I actually did all this in a heavy bottomed pan on the stove. You can put it in the oven like a casserole if you want, but I didn't need to. It was perfectly happy with a slow simmer on my cooker top.

This simmers long enough that you don't have to worry too much exactly what type of beef you buy, but a bit of marbling for flavour tends to be good.

I bought some mushrooms, but have o idea what type they were because I couldn't read the kanji. They were quite large so I quartered them.

I skipped the parsley, personal choice. A scattering of green brightens up the dish to the eye, but it's up to you.


1) Preheat oven to 160C/320F for fan assisted, 140C/285F/Gas mark 3 for not. Pat beef dry with kitchen paper and season both sides. Pour the boiling water over the dried mushrooms. Soak for 30 minutes, then strain, keeping the juices for later.

2) Heat half the oil in the casserole dish/pan, then add the meat in batches and fry on both sides, until browned.

3) Remove meat from the pan, pour in the remaining oil, fry the onions for 10 minutes until softened.

4) Return the meat to the pan, spinkle with flour and cook for 1 minute

5) Add the port/wine, mushroom liquid and soaked mushrooms. Bring to the boil, season, then cover and cook for 1½-2 hours until tender. Check after 1 hour, if the sauce looks like it's getting too thick, add a splash of boiling water.

If you're doing this on the stove like I did, then bring to the boil, season, cover, turn heat down to medium (so it's not quite so vigorous) the check every half hour to give it a stir to make sure the onions don;t stick to the bottom because of the direct heat.

6) After meat is tender, taste ad season, then add the chestnut mushrooms and cook for a further 10 minutes. Serve sprinkled with parsley (or not). I served mine with some broccoli and sliced carrots that I tossed in olive oil, seasoned, and roasted in the oven for about 20-25 minutes

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