Beef Casseroled with Onions

  • Active Time 15m
  • Total Time 5h 15m

Serves 4

Of all old French kitchen utensils, a venerable cast-iron dish has traditionally held pride of place: la danbiere, the stewing-pan. In this, on the kitchen stove next to the hearth, succulent meats basted with wine and sprinkled with spices would be left to simmer slowly for hours over a very low flame. The results were delectable stews, which were particularly popular among the bourgeoisie and which for today's French people evoke memories of Grandmother's cooking and of appetizing aromas emanating from dishes lovingly prepared for many hours over cast-iron stoves. This recipe conjures up the same unmistakable flavor and wonderful taste. Stews are a traditional dish throughout the country, but in the South they are served with pasta, whereas in the North they are served with potatoes.


  • 2 pounds top rump roast of beef, tied with string
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 7 whole cloves
  • 2 pounds large onions, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 10 ounces medium spaghetti
  • 1/2 cup finely and freshly grated Parmesan


Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Season the meat with salt and pepper, and stick the cloves into the roast. Line the bottom of a 4-quart stoneware or cast-iron pot with the onions. Sprinkle with salt. Place the meat on top. Cover the pot and place in the oven. Cook for 5 hours, turning the meat once or twice.

After 5 hours, remove the pot and lift the lid; a delicious aroma will arise the pot where everything is golden - the inside of the pot, the meat, the onions. Remove the string from the meat.

Set the meat on a serving plate and decorate it with half of the onion rings. Cover the dish with foil or keep it warm in the turned-off oven.

In a pot, bring water to a boil. Add salt and the spaghetti. Cook until al dente.

Over a large pan, pass the remaining onions and cooking juices through the medium disk of a food mill.

Drain the spaghetti. Toss with the pureed onions in the pan and cook for 1 minute over low heat. Pour the spaghetti into a deep serving dish.

TO SERVE: Serve the beef and the spaghetti at the same time. Sprinkle the spaghetti with Parmesan and pepper just before presenting them with the meat, which will be so tender that you can serve it with a spoon.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Russell. All rights reserved.

RecID 2673

nutrition information per serving

648 calories; 31g total fat; 111mg cholesterol; 249mg sodium; 46g carbohydrates; 5g fiber; 45g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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