Laura’s Braised Beef


This is for a 3.5 lb chuck roast. This is a huge cut of meat – 2.5″ X 8″ X 5.5″  But it’s not expensive. Braising is an efficient way to make even the cheapest cuts of meat tender.


You will need a heavy dutch oven for this, or a pan you can tightly seal. I seal mine with two layers of foil under the lid.


4-6 onions, depending on the size.

4 cloves of garlic, halved

2 shallots

2 sun-dried tomatoes (or a teaspoon of tomato paste)

1 tbs Hot pepper sauce or paste

2 tbs horseradish from a jar OR 1 tbs freshly grated horseradish

Thyme, rosemary, fennel, tarragon, bay leaf or any roasting herbs you prefer

1/2 cup beef stock or beef broth

1/4 cup good red wine or sherry – always cook with something you’d drink!

for extra rich beefy flavor, add a dab of anchovy paste. Yes, really.


Cut onions in thick rings and soften them in a little oil. If you want, they can be browned, but not to the point of sweetness. Add to them two shallots, chopped into quarters, and 4 cloves of garlic, halved. (You can also use garlic paste or diced garlic to the equivalent of 4 cloves)


When the onions are nicely done, add the two sundried tomatoes, two tablespoons of white horseradish and a tablespoon of hot pepper sauce or paste, with more or less to your taste. Stir and continue to cook the onions down. If you need liquid, add a few teaspoons of the wine.


Meanwhile, lavishly salt and pepper your meat and sear it in two tablespoons of hot oil, on all sides. Get a nice, brown sear on it. When it is done, transfer it on top of the nest of onions and herbs in the Dutch oven.


Pour the beefstock and wine around the meat. It should rise up no higher than 1/2 the height of the meat! Feel free to cut it back if there is too much liquid. You do not want to submerge this meat at any time.


Seal your pot or pan with foil and tightly cover it.


Place it in a 225 degree oven for 5-8 hours.


If you want to, open it at about 3 hours to check the fluid level. The meat should be giving off a lot of liquid; you can skim some of it out to keep the level at about half the height of your roast. (Strain this liquid and reserve it to make gravy, or serve as a jus.) You can turn your meat over at this time it over if you want. Then seal it back up and don’t bother it. At the end of the day, remove, allow to cool, and put it in the fridge overnight.


On day two, open your pot and remove the layer of fat on top. (It’s nice and easy, since it’s cold.) Place the resealed pot into your 225 degree oven and leave it alone again. Check the liquid level once at about 3 hours, and stick it with a fork. If it starts falling apart, it’s done. If it is still a little tough, re-cover and give it another two or three hours.


When it’s done, remove the roast from the pan and chill it before slicing. Believe me, you won’t be able to easily slice this thing when it’s hot. Put the slices in a pan that you can re-heat. Strain the pot liquids for gravy or jus, and when you are done with them, cover your sliced meat with it.


Re-heat and serve! The beauty of this for an evening like a seder is I don’t have to worry about leaving it in the oven “too long.” The meat is fork tender and covered in fluids – I put the sealed pan into my low oven the afternoon of the dinner and just leave it there.


Es gezunterheyt!


Seder menu

Bitter herb green salad with leek-lemon dressing

Cold beet and red onion salad

Braised beef au jus

Roasted Korean and American sweet potatoes with apricots, carrots, date syrup and cayenne

Charoset Two Ways – Golden, and Apple/Cranberry

Greek-style roasted chicken legs

Sephardic hard cooked eggs

Fresh horseradish, Israeli pickles and garnishes


Mock chestnut tort with Mexican chocolate

Maybe Coconut ginger rice pudding and or Sephardic charoset balls. We’ll see how much time I leave myself and how much room there is in the fridge.

Whatever the guests bring!


Israeli, French and Australian Kosher wines  – SO happy that there is such a variety of Kosher for Passover wines these days!!

Sparkling and still grape juices

Coffee and carbonated soft drinks