Beef and Onions Braised in Beer for #SundaySupper

by Renee on April 14, 2013

Beef and Onions Braised in Beer | Magnolia Days

Movies and food are intertwined in so many ways. I can’t think of a movie that does not include food in some manner. Whether it is to set a scene or be the main feature, food makes an appearance. It can play a funny role like in the cafeteria scene in Animal House. Food fight!! It sets the ambiance as in the dining scenes in Age of Innocence. Oh those table settings! It can also be a leading co-star as it is throughout Julie & Julia. I decided to make Beef and Onions Braised in Beer to celebrate food, movies, and to have an excuse to finally get a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

The cookbook was on my to-get list for many years. I have been a fan of Julia Child since I saw her on PBS oh so long ago. Last year for her centennial celebration I shared French Potato Salad, Tuna Salad Nicoise, and Braised Sauerkraut. Before that, watching the movie Julie and Julia made me want the book and yet I never got it. It took Sunday Supper and the movie-inspired recipes event to get me to click on the button to order the book.

Why did I decide to make Beef and Onions Braised in Beer? There is something about a slow-simmered beef dish that I can’t resist. I thought about the scene in the movie when Julia is chopping onions like crazy and her husband walks in and immediately turns around and leaves. It made me smile because I know my husband isn’t crazy about the smell when I’m chopping onions and garlic. The recipe also calls for Pilsner style beer and you know my German side kicked in on that one.

The finished beef has incredible flavor. Slow-cooking makes it fork tender. The sauce is another one I could almost drink by itself. It’s a good thing there is plenty to pour over noodles and sop up with bread. The book states “Serve this with parsley potatoes or buttered noodles, a green salad, and beer”. As you can see in the photo above, it is exactly what I did.

Now for more movie-inspired recipes. The Sunday Supper bloggers have really had a fun time with this event. We are so excited to share both good food and the movie story behind each one:

Toast (bready things)

No Reservations (soups and salads)

Today’s Special (fish, chicken, beef, and pork)

Forks Over Knives (veggie-heavy dishes and sides)

Udon (pasta and noodles)

Just Desserts (sweet treats)

Bottle Shock (beverages)

Has a movie inspired you to cook something? Which movie and what did you make? Now that you see all these you can have even more inspiration. It would be like I did with Beef and Onions Braised in Beer. Thanks so much Heather from girlichef for hosting such a fun and fabulous event!

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET and you do not want to miss out on the fun. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here → Sunday Supper Movement

Announcing the Food & Wine Conference sponsored by Sunday Supper! It’s being held July 19th – 21st in beautiful, sunny Orlando, FL. It’s a must for food bloggers. Check it out by clicking here → Food & Wine Conference

PS. One other reason I chose this movie is because I can’t tell you how many times when I tell people I have a food blog they ask “You mean like in the movie Julie & Julia?”. Well, it isn’t like the one in the movie, however, if anyone wants to make a movie about this blog, I am gladly accepting offers.

Beef and Onions Braised in Beer

4 hours, 30 minutes

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Beef and Onions Braised in Beer

  • 3 pounds lean beef roast
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons bacon fat or cooking oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds (6 cups) sliced onions
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed or finely minced
  • 1 cup beef stock (not broth)
  • 2 to 3 cups Pilsner style beer
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 6 fresh parsley sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 fresh thyme sprig
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • Chopped fresh parsely for garnish

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Cut the beef into slices about 2- to 4-inches long, 1-inch wide, and 1/2-inch thick. Lay beef strips on paper towels and cover with another layer of paper towels to dry them.

In a large skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat, add a thin layer of bacon fat or oil and heat until almost smoking. Brown the beef slices quickly and in batches. Do not crowd the pan. Set browned beef aside in a bowl.

Reduce heat to medium and add the sliced onions. Add more fat or oil if needed. Cook the onions for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove onions from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic and stir to combine.

In a 9- or 10-inch dutch oven or heavy pot, place 1/2 of the beef in an even layer and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cover the beef with 1/2 of the onions. Repeat beef and onion layers. Pour any accumulated juices from the beef into the pot.

In the browning skillet over medium heat, add the stock. Heat the stock and scrape the pan to get up any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet. Pour the heated stock over the beef. Add enough beer to barely cover the beef. Stir in the brown sugar.

Wrap the parsely, bay leaf, and thyme in cheesecloth. Tie it with cooking string (makes an herb bouquet or bouquet garni). Bury the herb bouquet in the beef.

Over medium-high heat, bring the contents of the dutch oven to a simmer. Cover and place it in the oven. Cook it in the oven for 2 1/2 hours.

Remove and discard the herb bouquet. Use a strainer over a large bowl to drain the liquid out of the dutch oven. Return the beef and onions to the dutch oven. Pour the liquid into a saucepan and skim off the fat. Heat the liquid over medium heat.

In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and vinegar. Slowly pour it into the liquid, whisking constantly. Bring the liquid to a simmer. Turn the heat to medium-low or low and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes to slightly thicken the liquid. Pour the liquid into the dutch oven.

Serve immediately with buttered noodles or potatoes. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley if desired.

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Recipe adapted from one in the Mastering the Art of French Cooking cookbook by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

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{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

Pam @ Blueberries And Blessingd April 14, 2013 at 7:04 am

He-he – I like that scene – I couldn’t imagine chopping that many onions at once like that! I’m with you on the beef dish, and yours looks amazing!

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Toby @ Plate Fodder April 14, 2013 at 7:28 am

Oh, Yum!
I love me some slow cooked beef.
I picked up a beef shank a couple of weeks ago… then promptly tossed it into the way-back of the freezer. I just couldn’t find a proper braised beef recipe I wanted to simmer a shank in. This looks too good not to renew my efforts.

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Stacy April 14, 2013 at 7:38 am

I’m glad you finally got yourself a copy of that wonderful book, Renee! It’s a treasure for sure. I loved that movie too! I remember watching Julia as a child and Julie and Julia brought her to life for me once more. Your braised beef looks fabulous! I can just imagine the tender, flavorful bites of meat and I am sure the sauce is the best part. We say that at our house, gravy is a beverage and I think yours would qualify for sure.

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Renee April 15, 2013 at 4:47 pm

Thanks Stacy! I love that you call gravy a beverage. It is so how I feel about a good one.

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Jennie @themessybakerblog April 14, 2013 at 7:59 am

This dish looks mouth watering, Renee. Yum!

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Family Foodie April 14, 2013 at 8:41 am

I have been wanting to get this cookbook for the longest time and you just reminded me why I need it… gorgeous recipe!

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Alaiyo Kiasi April 14, 2013 at 9:12 am

Very nice narrative to accompany your recipe. I’m so excited about this week and have been looking forward to it!

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Kayle (The Cooking Actress) April 14, 2013 at 9:15 am

Mmmmm so it’s like breakfast time but I really just wanna skip to dinner and have some of this!

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Shannon @VillageGirlBlog April 14, 2013 at 9:23 am

This is what I want for dinner! Your pics are awesome. Serious Yum factor all around. Thanks for sharing it!

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Heather @girlichef April 14, 2013 at 9:43 am

ha ha ha…that is totally one of my favorite parts of the movie, as well (and isn’t Stanley Tucci an amazing Paul!?). I loved everything about this post…and the relation of food to movies…sigh… Now, pass me a plate – I’m starving!

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Renee April 15, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Yes, Stanley Tucci did a great job portraying Paul. It was so much fun watching the relationship between him and Julia.

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Wendy (TheWeekend Gourmet) April 14, 2013 at 10:19 am

Yum…I need to make this one next time beef roast is on sale. My meat-loving brother-in-law would go nuts for this during the upcoming basketball playoffs!

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Renee - Kudos Kitchen April 14, 2013 at 10:23 am

Oh Yeah! This is my kind of #SundaySupper Braised in beer and served over egg noodles. I’m German so this really hits the spot for me.
This looks incredible! Cheers to a perfect meal Renée!

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Renee April 15, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Thanks Renee! How interesting we both have the same name and we are both German (well I’m half-German).

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Jen @JuanitasCocina April 14, 2013 at 10:27 am

I’d eat this right now! Especially since I haven’t had breakfast!

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Paula @ Vintage Kitchen April 14, 2013 at 10:37 am

The weather here is definitely colder, and this beer stew sounds heavenly Renee! I simply love braising with beer, it´s such an interesting flavor. Gorgeous recipe. I saw julie and julia just a few weeks ago and loved to see how food blogs started to get noticed.

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Renee April 15, 2013 at 4:44 pm

It is cooling down where you are and it’s warming up here. You now the plenty of opportunity to make a hot, hearty beef dish.

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Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers April 14, 2013 at 10:57 am

I just saw that movie and LOVE it! Your dish is looks amazing! I want to get Julia’s cookbook, it’s on my list of reads!! Thank you for sharing!

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Susan April 14, 2013 at 11:08 am

I absolutely love this dish! It’s one of my favorites and my husband is the same way. He always yells from the other room “onions!” in response to me chopping or cooking them!

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Amanda @ MarocMama April 14, 2013 at 11:15 am

This is one of my favorite cookbooks too – my mom gave it to me for a birthday gift a few years ago. I really love the techniques she shares and find myself often looking to it for that maybe even more than recipes. I recently read Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child and learning about the work and effort that went into that cookbook astounded me!!!

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Renee April 15, 2013 at 4:41 pm

Thanks Amanda and now I’ll have to take a look at that book. It sounds very interesting.

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Liz April 14, 2013 at 1:30 pm

Simply beautiful, Renee…and a dish that would make the hubby swoon. I just can’t let him know I use any of his good beer in a stew :/ Sounds like it will be cold again next weekend…your braised beef may make our menu!

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Renee April 15, 2013 at 4:41 pm

If you use your hubby’s beer I won’t tell him. Your secret is safe with me.

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Diana @GourmetDrizzles April 14, 2013 at 2:27 pm

Absolutely beautiful, and I’m with you on slow cooked beef! I’ve been wanting that cookbook too… you’ve inspired me to finally go for it! ;-)

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Renee April 15, 2013 at 4:40 pm

Oh wonderful! You will love the cookbook. It really is one everyone should have in their collection.

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Tara April 14, 2013 at 2:39 pm

Oh yum, that looks so very good!!! I simply adore Julia!!

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Conni @FoodieArmyWife April 14, 2013 at 3:49 pm

What a great movie – I love it :) And I LOVE your recipe choice – YUM!!

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Katy April 14, 2013 at 4:47 pm

There is something completely wonderful about a simmering pot – and you’ve produced such a beautiful dish! Great choice!

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Megan April 14, 2013 at 5:08 pm

LOVE this!!! Recipe sounds delicious and the photographs are good enough to eat. YUM!

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Renee April 15, 2013 at 4:40 pm

Thank you so much Megan and I appreciate your kinds words about my photography.

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Shelby | Diabetic Foodie April 14, 2013 at 5:23 pm

I, too, love beef that is slow-cooked for a long time. Yum! I finally got a copy of Mastering as a gift. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have gotten around to getting it either!

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Brandie (@ Home Cooking Memories) April 14, 2013 at 5:44 pm

I totally agree with food being part of nearly every movie. When I asked my husband for his thoughts on what I should make this week, he was thinking of specific foodie movies, but really, you can find food inspiration in almost any movie. I was a huge fan of Julie & Julia, so I’m really glad to see someone do something inspired by it. This looks so amazing.

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Katie April 14, 2013 at 5:45 pm

Julie & Julia was filled with so much food inspiration – I loved it! Your dish looks deeeelish!

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The Ninja Baker April 14, 2013 at 6:28 pm

Bee-yoo-ti-ful, Renee. Your hubby is one lucky fella =) Boeuf Bourgignon is one gourmet dish that requires a lot of TLC.

Reading the recipe on your site – on lovely Renee’s Magnolia Days – somehow made the whole bouquet of herbs bag seem a little less intimidating…Sooo, one of these days maybe I’ll turn from desserts to main meals in Julia’s masterpiece cookbook =)

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Renee April 15, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Thanks Kim! The herb bouquet is so easy. The only part I had to deal with is making sure there were not any loose strings after cutting the cheesecloth. Other than that it is very simple.

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Hezzi-D April 14, 2013 at 8:05 pm

Julia Child has such amazing dishes! This one sounds incredible braised in the beer.

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Courtney @ Neighborfood April 14, 2013 at 8:43 pm

This looks divine! I love slow-simmered beef, especially when it’s simmered in beer. Can’t beat the rich flavor!

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Martin D. Redmond April 14, 2013 at 11:38 pm

Great looking recipe Renee! I’ll have to give it a try!

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Kim Bee April 15, 2013 at 12:25 am

I’ll be right over. Save me a nice big plateful.

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Renee April 15, 2013 at 4:37 pm

You plate is being saved. I’ll warm it up when you get here.

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Tammi @ Momma's Meals April 15, 2013 at 8:25 am

I love that movie! I could watch it over and over again!! Which reminds me that I need to try this dish of hers!! Thanks for sharing!

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Anita at Hungry Couple April 15, 2013 at 9:19 am

Ooh! I want! Like…right now! For breakfast, even. :) This looks and sounds so, so good Rene!

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Renee April 15, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Thanks Anita!

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Laura Dembowski April 15, 2013 at 1:18 pm

I have gotten the whole “oh, you blog like Julie and Julia” a couple of times, but not a lot. Coincidentally, I didn’t really care for the movie. But I agree, I’m waiting for my book and/or movie deal :)

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Renee April 15, 2013 at 4:37 pm

You are the first food blogger I’ve come across that didn’t care for the movie. I liked it because of learning more about Julia Child.

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Karli April 15, 2013 at 3:26 pm

YUMMY! This looks so good–especially for a dreary couple of days like we’re having in Denver. Which roast did you use for the recipe?

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Renee April 15, 2013 at 4:35 pm

Thanks! I used a rump roast (bottom round it may have been called on the package). It was one that didn’t have a lot of fat throughout.

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Lauren April 15, 2013 at 9:33 pm

Oh, this looks amazing! I generally get stuck in a chicken rut (even if I vary the styles of cooking and flavors, I make a LOT of it) and this beef dish looks like one to try out very, very soon! Yummy. I wonder if I could throw everything in the crock pot… Any thoughts on if it would be as successful as your method?

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Amy Kim (@kimchi_mom) April 15, 2013 at 10:07 pm

I’ve wanted to buy this cookbook for the longest time! I still can’t believe it’s not part of my collection, but it is on my Amazon.com wish list along with 10 other cookbooks.

I truly enjoyed reading Julie & Julia. It actually gave me the extra nudge I needed to start my food blog! I did catch the movie on a flight, but heard maybe 40% of it. I’ve been meaning to watch it again!

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Lyn @LovelyPantry April 16, 2013 at 12:54 pm

I need to get that cook book. I think its a valuable investment! This recipe looks so hearty and rich! Gorgeous photography, as always, Renee!

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Nicole @ Daily Dish Recipes April 16, 2013 at 1:07 pm

Oh my goodness. Look at that moist, beautiful “gravy”… this looks so fabulous and I am definitely thinking it’s time to invest in that cookbook. I’ve checked it out of the library dozens of times… maybe it’s time to put it on my shelf.

Great recipe choice Renee… and perfect movie!

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Renee April 18, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Thanks Nicole! You must get the cookbook. It’s one I will use, even if only for a reference, quite often. The information in it is incredibly valuable to cooks at any level.

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Sarah | Curious Cuisiniere April 17, 2013 at 8:53 am

This looks fantastic. Slow simmered beef, beer, onions… you can’t get much better than that!

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