RECIPE FAIL: Beer Braised Beef and Onions


Look at this mess.

Something went wrong tonight.


The meal was cooked to spec, with the only deviation being the roast’s size and the reduced cooking time to accommodate that fact — 30 minutes to accommodate the variance.

The fucking thing burned. (I’m sorry if my use of vulgarities burned your retinae. I’m pissed. No. Fucking pissed.)

Tonight’s dinner was beer braised beef and onions, based on a recipe from the now-shuttered Gourmet magazine. This called for a five-pound chuck roast (I bought the largest in the case at three), three pounds of onions, 24 ounces of a light-colored lager, two tablespoons each of vegetable oil and red wine vinegar. Brown the meat. Brown the onions. Braise for 3.5 hours. Serve.

Somewhere in between braise and serve, the liquid evaporated and the onions burned to the bottom of my pan, leaving a two-inch crust of crud on the bottom of it. The meat was salvageable and made for an okay topping on some egg noodles, but not quite what I had intended.

CLEARLY, the cooking time was too long. My guess is that it could have cooked 2 to 2.5 hours and been fine. I’ve braised before and even the tough meat attached to a short rib doesn’t go that long. I should have known better, but trust the recipe, right? Somewhere in that 90 minutes, my braised onions went from gravy to a cooled black muck. I offer a photographic evidence of my endeavor and the epic fail that was the end product:


3 thoughts on “RECIPE FAIL: Beer Braised Beef and Onions”

  1. Thanks Erin!

    I should have followed my gut and lowered the cooking time, but I’ve never had problems with recipes from Gourmet or


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