– 2 pounds of braising steak, preferably from the chuck or blade, trimmed and cut into thick slices
– 4 large onions, thinly sliced
– 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
– 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
– 2 cups of beef stock
– 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
– 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
– 2 cloves of garlic, minced
– A handful of fresh thyme sprigs
– Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Before diving into the culinary adventure, take a moment to appreciate the beauty of a good cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven. These vessels have accompanied countless cooks on their journey to culinary excellence. Place your chosen trusty companion on the stove over medium heat.
2. Pat the beef slices dry with a kitchen towel and season with salt and pepper. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in the skillet until shimmering. Working in batches, sear the beef until golden brown on all sides, ensuring a touch of caramelization to add depth to the dish. Once seared, set aside the beef on a plate.
3. In the same skillet, add two tablespoons of vegetable oil and toss in the onions. Allow them to soften and caramelize, releasing their natural sweetness and transforming into golden ribbons of flavor.
4. With the onions golden and glistening, sprinkle the flour over them, stirring well to coat. This will create the foundation for our velvety gravy, adding richness and body to our dish.
5. Return the seared beef to the skillet, nestling it among the onions. Pour in the beef stock slowly, along with Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste. These ingredients will infuse the dish with a magical umami flavor, transforming it into a symphony of taste.
6. As the liquid simmers to life, add the minced garlic and a handful of thyme sprigs. The aroma will fill your kitchen, conjuring memories of hearth and home. Allow the dish to simmer on low heat, covered, for about 2-3 hours until the beef is tender and succulent, and the flavors have melded into a symphony of delight.
7. Before serving, season with salt and pepper to your personal taste, adding that final touch of perfection.
But wait, let us explore the realm of possibilities this dish offers. You can create magic by adding red wine or stout to the braising liquid, lending richness and complexity to the gravy. If you fancy a twist, consider experimenting with different herbs like rosemary or oregano, allowing your taste buds to venture into new realms of flavor.
Dear readers, as I take the first bite of this tender beef draped in caramelized onions, I am transported to times gone by when life was simpler, and the kitchen was the heart of the home. May this magnificent dish bring joy and a touch of magic to your table, just as it has done for generations. Bon appétit!