Braised Beef

published Feb 27, 2022
Braised Beef Recipe

For the most tender cut of beef, look to this tried-and-true method.


Prep20 minutes

Cook3 hours

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braised beef with carrots
Credit: Photo: Eric Kleinberg; Food Stylist: Kristina Vanni

Every year, I not-so-secretly look forward to the first blizzard of winter. When the weather forecast predicts a big snowfall, that’s my cue to head to the grocery store. While the snow falls for hours on end, I nestle myself into the warm kitchen to cook something cozy for dinner. For me this usually means some sort of braised beef dish. I love recipes that come together all in one pot and then cook slowly in the oven for hours. These dishes typically involve a budget-friendly cut of meat, a ton of hearty vegetables, and, more often than not, an enthusiastic splash of wine in the braising liquid.

While the beef slowly braises, it gives me time to make a side dish like mashed potatoes or polenta. The day gets even better if I can build a fire in the fireplace and enjoy some of the leftover wine from the bottle I opened for the recipe. It ends up being one of those perfect days where hunkering down at home is a delicious delight.

What Does It Mean to Braise Beef?

Braising is a technique that cooks a tougher cut of meat gently in liquid. When braising, you want to use just enough liquid to come about three-quarters of the way up the meat, without submerging it completely. The result is a piece of meat that is transformed into something tender and succulent.

Credit: Photo: Eric Kleinberg; Food Stylist: Kristina Vanni

What Kind of Beef Is Used for Braised Beef?

Braised beef usually calls for a tougher cut of beef that tenderizes after cooking slowly in the oven. Chuck roast is a great choice because it is budget-friendly and easy to find at just about any grocery store.

What to Serve with Braised Beef

Braised beef pairs perfectly with a hearty scoop of fluffy mashed potatoes. It also tastes great when served with a creamy polenta.

Braised Beef Recipe

For the most tender cut of beef, look to this tried-and-true method.

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 3 hours

Serves 8

Nutritional Info


  • 1

    medium fennel bulb

  • 1

    medium yellow onion

  • 3

    large carrots

  • 4 cloves


  • 1 pound

    cremini mushrooms

  • 5 pounds

    boneless chuck roast

  • 1 tablespoon

    kosher salt

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 cup

    all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons

    canola or vegetable oil

  • 2 tablespoons

    tomato paste

  • 2 1/2 cups

    dry red wine

  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups

    low-sodium beef broth, divided

  • 3 large sprigs

    fresh thyme

  • 2

    bay leaves


  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F.

  2. Trim and halve 1 medium fennel bulb lengthwise and cut into small dice (about 1 1/2 cups). Cut 1 medium yellow onion into small dice (about 2 cups). Peel 3 large carrots and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick rounds (about 2 cups). Finely chop 4 garlic cloves. Trim and quarter 1 pound cremini mushrooms.

  3. Trim any large pieces of fat from 5 pounds boneless chuck roast and cut into 3 to 4-inch pieces. Pat dry with paper towels and place in a large bowl. Season with 1 tablespoon kosher salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup all-purpose flour and toss with your hands until all the pieces are coated on all sides.

  4. Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven or ovensafe heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Working in batches so as not to crowd the pan, add the beef and sear until browned on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a large plate or rimmed baking pan.

  5. Reduce heat to medium low. Add the fennel, onion, and carrots and sauté until just tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons tomato paste and cook until darkened in color and fragrant, about 1 minute.

  6. Pour in 2 1/2 cups dry red wine and 1 cup of the low-sodium beef broth, and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the mushrooms and stir to combine.

  7. Return the beef to the pot in a single layer, nestling the meat into the liquid and vegetables, and add any accumulated juices on the plate. The beef should sit just above the liquid line and not be fully immersed in the liquid. If there isn't enough liquid, add as much of the remaining 1/2 cup beef broth as needed.

  8. Nestle 3 large fresh thyme sprigs and 2 bay leaves between pieces of meat. Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Cover and transfer to the oven. Cook until the meat is gently falling apart when pricked with a fork, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: Braised beef can be prepared the night before, cooled, covered, and refrigerated. Reheat on the stovetop.

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.