Pot-roast beef with French onion gravy


Serves 4 Prep 15 mins Cook about 2 hrs 15 mins £ 3.63 a por­tion 487 kcals, 17g fat, 5g sat. fat, 15g sugar 1kg sil­ver­side or top­side of beef,

with no added fat 2 tbsp olive oil 8 young car­rots, tops trimmed (but leave a lit­tle, if you like) 1 cel­ery stick, finely

chopped 200ml white wine 600ml rich beef stock 2 bay leaves 500g onions few thyme sprigs 1 tsp but­ter 1 tsp light brown or light mus­co­v­ado sugar 2 tsp plain flour

1 Heat oven to 160C/ 140C fan/gas 3. Rub the meat with 1 tsp of the oil and plenty of sea­son­ing. Heat a large flame­proof casse­role dish and brown the meat all over for about 10 mins. Mean­while, add 2 tsp oil to a fry­ing pan and fry the car­rots and cel­ery for 10 mins un­til turn­ing golden.

2 Lift the beef onto a plate, splash the wine into the hot casse­role and boil for 2 mins. Pour in the stock, re­turn the beef, then tuck in the car­rots, cel­ery and bay leaves, try­ing not to sub­merge the car­rots too much. Cover and cook in the oven for 2 hrs (turn the beef half­way through cook­ing.)

3 Mean­while, thinly slice the onions. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and stir in the onions, thyme and some sea­son­ing. Cover and cook gen­tly for 20 mins un­til the onions are soft­ened but not coloured. Re­move the lid, turn up the heat, add the but­ter and sugar, then let the onions caramelise to a dark golden brown, stir­ring of­ten. Re­move the thyme sprigs, then set aside.

4 When the beef is ready, it will be ten­der and easy to pull apart at the edges. Re­move it from the casse­role and snip off the strings. Re­heat the onion pan, stir in the flour and cook for 1 min. Whisk the floury onions into the beefy juices in the casse­role, to make a thick onion gravy. Taste for sea­son­ing. Add the beef and car­rots back to the casse­role, or slice the beef and bring to the ta­ble on a plat­ter, with the car­rots to the side and the gravy spooned over.

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