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Grandpa’s Braised Beef

Slow cooked moist and tender braised beef with potatoes and tomatoes is a satisfying reheatable meal.


  • Extra virgin olive oil ( EVOO), for sautéing and drizzling
  • 4 onions, very thinly sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
  • 3 pounds chuck, bottom round or top sirloin steak
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4-5 starchy potatoes
  • 1 can Italian tomatoes, sliced or roughly crushed (32 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped, divided
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (about 2 handfuls)
  • A few fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1 loaf ciabatta, for serving
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Pre-heat the oven to 325ºF.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat with a thin layer of EVOO. Add the onions and garlic to the hot EVOO and sweat them until very soft and very light caramel in color, 20-30 minutes. Turn off the heat and reserve.

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add a thin layer of EVOO to the pan. Pat the meat dry and season very liberally with salt and pepper. Brown the meat to a deep brown all over, 12-15 minutes.

Peel the potatoes and very thinly slice them lengthwise into planks. Slice the tomatoes, working over a bowl to catch their juices.

Arrange half of the onions over top of the meat. Season with salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon thyme. Arrange half of the potatoes over the onions and dress with a liberal drizzle of EVOO, about 1 tablespoon, salt, pepper, half of the rosemary and a handful freshly grated cheese Parmigiano Reggiano. Top the potatoes with half of the tomatoes and their juices and season with salt and pepper. Scatter a few leaves of torn basil. Repeat the layers. Do not add the basil to the top layer of tomatoes.

Cover the pan and roast the meat in the oven until very tender, 4 hours. Cool and store for make-ahead meal.

To reheat: Reheat, covered, in a pre-heated 325ºF oven until warmed through, 45-60 minutes. Take the lid off the pot, drizzle the top of the meat with EVOO, sprinkle with cheese, and broil to lightly crust the top.

Cut down through the layers of the potatoes, tomatoes and onions to portion the meat. Serve in shallow bowls with crusty bread and pan juices.

Rachael Ray