French onion beef stew

Adam Liaw
French onion beef stew.
French onion beef stew. Photo: William Meppem

If our busy lives mean three-course meals are featuring less and less at home, why not combine two into one? This hearty stew is equal parts soup and main.


• 30g butter

• 1.5kg beef chuck, cut into 5cm pieces

• ¼ cup plain flour

• ½ cup white wine

• 2 bay leaves

• 6 sprigs thyme, plus 2 additional sprigs to serve

• 1 tsp salt

• 2 litres good-quality beef stock

• 1.5kg brown onions, peeled and thickly sliced

• 1 baguette, cut into 3cm thick slices

• 1 garlic clove, halved

• 2 cups grated cheese


Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat and add the butter. Toss the beef in the flour and fry in batches until browned all over. Deglaze the base of the pot with the white wine and return the beef to the pot. Add the bay leaves, thyme, salt and beef stock and simmer, covered for 1 hour. After the beef has been simmering for 30 minutes, heat a large frying pan over low-medium heat and add the onions. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, for 30-40 minutes until they are well caramelised. Deglaze the onion pan with a little of the stew liquid and add the onions to the pot with the beef. Cover and continue to simmer for until the beef is tender, about 30 minutes. 

Heat your oven grill to 200oC. Arrange the baguette on a baking sheet and rub the bread with the garlic. Toast one side of the baguette under the grill, then turn over, scatter the other side with cheese, and grill until the cheese is melted and bubbling. Cover the entire surface of the stew with slices of the cheesy bread and serve immediately.

Also try: Adam Liaw's citrus and almond clafoutis

Find more of Adam Liaw's recipes in the Good Food Favourite Recipes cookbook.

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