French Beef Casserole

9:25 pm on 7 July 2007

(Serves 6)


  • 1 whole beef shin (about 1 Kg)
  • 100 gms butter
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 brown onions, thinly sliced
  • ½ C flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 strip orange peel that you have dried out in the oven
  • 2 cloves
  • 4 sprigs parsley
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves


Preheat the oven to 150˚C.

Cut the beef into chunky (5 cm) cubes, discarding excess fat and gristle.

Combine half the butter with the olive oil in a heavy casserole and sauté the onions over low to moderate heat, turning occasionally until they are soft and lightly golden.

Put the flour into a supermarket bag and season generously with salt and pepper.  Put the beef cubes into the bag, a handful at a time, and shake to coat evenly.

Dust off excess flour and add the cubes to the casserole and sauté, stirring constantly, until the beef is well browned.

Add the garlic, orange peel, cloves, herbs and the remaining butter.  Cover the casserole tightly and bake in the oven for at least two hours until the meat is meltingly tender and the onions have disintegrated into a thick, highly flavoured brown sauce.

Remove the peel and herbs, correct the seasoning and serve.

Tip: For best results, make sure the beef is gently bubbling on top of the stove before placing it into oven, then keep the oven temperature as low as possible while maintaining a barely perceptible simmer.

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