The Ultimate Brandy Braised Beef Recipe

brandy-braised-beef

I feel like I’m breaking some sort of oath with myself by releasing this recipe. I’ve guarded this one with my life on more than one occasion, refusing to allow the grail of roast preparation out of the confines of my own kitchen. For me this is something akin to letting a national secret slip into the wrong hands, but the decision has been made and there’s no going back now.

It’s probably guilt that’s motivating this decision. I’m not usually wont to be a recipe hog. Generally I’ll chat and give (and receive) recipe hints anywhere that I can. In the grocery store, at the checkout, at the bank, at dinner at someone’s house, or on the phone. But not this… This one is different.

This is, quite simply the best damned beef roast short of a standing rib roast that you’ll ever eat, and for the first time in my life, I’m going to spill the recipe.

“Please take note, Mr or Mrs Bond, this message will self destruct 10 seconds after completion and will not be repeated”

If you got this far and were looking for a lean beef recipe or something that your arteries won’t groan over, please refer to this post instead. This recipe is about flavor, texture and absolutely sinful food. It should not be served with something light on the side. It should not be served in tiny portions. It is indulgence in the extreme and should be enjoyed with a sense of pride and gluttony.

Having said all that, I will now begin the reading of the sacred parchment. (Well, sacred scraps of various notebook paper, but parchment sounded better.)

The Ultimate Brandy Braised Beef Recipe
 
Ingredients
  • 1 2.5-5 lb beef roast. (Tri-Tip, or Chuck works very well)
  • 1 stick butter, cut in pats
  • ½ pint good brandy
  • 5 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 8 – 10 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Method
  1. Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Season roast liberally with salt and pepper. Add 2 tbsp. olive oil to skillet. Brown roast rapidly on all sides until a good crust is formed. (or both sides in the case of a flat roast like a chuck.)
  2. Add butter and brandy to skillet. (Please, Please! Respect your safety and remove the skillet from heat before adding the brandy. Flare-ups can happen on an electric or ceramic element as well as over an open flame!)
  3. Simmer over medium low heat until roast achieves desired doneness (for us that’s just a hair past walking, but medium rare is excellent as well.) Remove roast, cover with foil and allow to rest at least 10 minutes.
  4. Using the same skillet, increase heat to medium, add onions and garlic and cook until translucent, about 6 minutes. Add mushrooms and allow to caramelize. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Slice roast in thin pieces, arrange on plate or platter and cover with sauce. Serve immediately.

What I would have done differently had I thought about it at the time:

I would have handed the bottle of brandy to my wife instead of taking nips off of it while I was finishing up dinner. Other than that, I would have very much enjoyed a loaf of Sonoma Sourdough French Bread to go with the steak, but a 2,000 mile trip for a loaf of the world’s best bread was simply out of the question.

“Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to make the best beef roast you’ve ever had. If you mess this up, we will disavow all knowledge of your involvement and claim that you used someone else’s recipe.

Good Luck!”

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Comments

  1. Jerry says

    Laura,

    Good doesn’t even begin to cover it. It’s about as close to blasphemous as I’ve ever come… Well, in food anyway.

  2. Linda, The Village Vegetable says

    i know exactly what you mean! don’t worry we won’t tell a soul ;)

    did you know it’s braising week on Apartment Therapy!?

  3. Jerry says

    Linda,

    I took a look at AT. I didn’t see anything, but I guess I’ll check again in a bit. Gotta get the next entry off the presses just in case i loose power here. (Thunder storms are-a-ragin

    Cate,

    It’s deee-vine, really. My wife didn’t talk at all until she’d finished her plate, and then it was to ask if there were seconds. (there were)

    Lisa,

    Let me know what you think!

    • says

      @Lint,
      Technically it is a braise. It’s cooked over low to medium low heat for at least 20 minutes. or can be placed covered in the oven and cooked at 220 for up to an hour if you choose. cooking the beef quickly results in a very tough cut. Not pleasant at all/

  4. says

    Dan,
    I wouldn’t recommend this method for veal, as it might very well over power the delicate flavor. As for a beef shank, I think it would be a perfect slow braise method. Just flash the alcohol off the brandy before putting it in the oven (Trust me!)

  5. Adelina says

    I don’t know what Brandy would taste like but after reading this post, I shall put it to use!!! I recently bought a bottle of Brandy to make a birthday cake and realize that I will only use 2 Tbsp. of it so I’ll have plenty left over. I searched online and found your site!!!

    questions, if you dont mind:

    does it make a different if I use “Extra Smooth” Brandy vs. other kinds of Brandy? I bought E&J Extra Smooth Brandy and wonder if this is the right kind of brandy to make this dish?

    When you start to “simmer” the roast, do I need to occasionally turn it from sides to sides or it’s ok for me to let it sit alone on one side? How long was your simmering time?

    I promise I’ll guard this recipe!!! But if it turns out too good, I’m sure I’ll have to share others your link!

    Thanks!!!

  6. says

    @Adelena,
    If it’s a round roast, then yes, you’ll need to turn it from time to time to keep the meat in the liquid. I prefer using a chuck roast for this particualr application, then you’ll only need to turn it once.

  7. weng says

    what is the microbial content and its standard for this recipe after marinating or braising and / or before cooking/

  8. Carole says

    What does the brandy actually do? Is it a good idea for beef bourguignonne? Sorry I have printed this and intend to try it very soon!

  9. Catherine says

    I loved this! I did something a little different – cooked it in the oven until the beef hit 130 degrees then, after sauteeing the onion, mushrooms & garlic, I deglazed the pan with a bit more brandy, cooked that off then swirled in about 1/3 cup heavy cream. The meat was perfectly rare all the way through and the sauce was very good. Next time, I’ll leave out the garlic because it burned a bit by the time the mushrooms were done and got a bit aggressive. Otherwise – perfection! Thank you for sharing this!

  10. says

    This recipe is so cool and it looks delicious (because the final presentation is awesome). I haven’t tried cooking foods which involves liquors because imma bit afraid about the end result. Lolz! But anyway, meat dishes are best with the wines.

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