Thursday, 9 April 2015

Slow Cooker Braised Beef

This is another simple dish that you just throw in the slow cooker in the morning, it slowly cooks to perfection through out the day, leaving you very little to do when it's time for dinner. 


  • 4 Braising steaks (about 200g/7oz each)
  • 3 tbsp Rapeseed oil (canola oil)
  • 1 Medium onion, halved and cut into wedges
  • 1 Garlic clove, crushed
  • 500ml/18fl oz Beef stock made with 1 beef stock cube, or 500ml/18fl oz fresh beef stock
  • 1 tbsp Tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp Chopped fresh thyme, or ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 tsp Cornflour
  • 1 tbsp Wholegrain Mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Trim off any bits of fat that you don't like the look of, season with salt and pepper, then shallow fry the steaks in 1 tbsp of the oil until they are sealed. Transfer the steaks to your slow cooker.

Add the remaining oil to your pan and gently fry the onions until they begin to soften (about five minutes). Stir in the garlic and cook for a further minute. Add the remaining ingredients except the cornflower and bring to a simmer. As soon as the temperature of the liquid has reached simmer you can pour it over your steaks that are happily waiting in the slow cooker. 

Cook on High for four hours or Low for eight hours. 

Just prior to serving time mix the cornflour with a small amount of cold water to make a paste. Leave the steaks in the slow cooker and pour the rest of the contents into a wide pan/wok. Stir in the cornflour paste and then stir at a quite rapid boil until the gravy/stock has reduced and thickened to a consistency that you are happy with. 

Adjust the seasoning then serve. I like to serve the steak in gravy with wedges but the missus likes mash. Each to their own...

Tip: If your slow cooker has a ceramic lid you will retain most of the moisture whilst cooking. If it has a glass lid you get more water loss so best to check half way through that it is not drying out.

Note: Whenever cooking vegetables in the slow cooker you should briefly bring the temperature of the mixture up to almost boiling. This destroys (denatures) the enzymes in the vegetables that would normally destroy your vitamins during low temperature cooking. Less appropriate in this recipe as you have already sauteed the onions but still worth remembering.

(About the recipe - this is an adaptation of the Hairy Bikers recipe taken from the BBC Food website)

Braised beef - picture taken from the BBC Food website

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