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Beef and Onions Braised in Beer for #SundaySupper

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

A recipe for beef and onions braised in beer. Strips of roast beef and onion slices are slow-cooked (braised) in Pilsner style beer. Serve with buttered noodles or potatoes for a hearty meal.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Author Renee


  • 3 pounds lean beef roast
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons bacon fat or cooking oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds sliced onions 6 cups
  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Serve immediately with buttered noodles or potatoes. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley if desired.

Recipe Notes

A recipe for beef and onions braised in beer. Strips of roast beef and onion slices are slow-cooked (braised) in Pilsner style beer. Serve with buttered noodles or potatoes for a hearty meal.

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.

Recipe Rating

Sarah | Curious Cuisiniere

Wednesday 17th of April 2013

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

Nicole @ Daily Dish Recipes

Tuesday 16th of April 2013

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!


Thursday 18th of April 2013

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.

Lyn @LovelyPantry

Tuesday 16th of April 2013

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!

Amy Kim (@kimchi_mom)

Monday 15th of April 2013

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 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!


Monday 15th of April 2013

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?