Portuguese braised steak & onions

Portuguese braised steak & onions

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(21 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins - 15 mins Cook: 2 hrs, 20 mins


Serves 4
In Portugal this braise would be served with fried potatoes or rice, but it goes just as well with a pillow of buttery mash

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal430
  • fat23g
  • saturates8g
  • carbs11g
  • sugars8g
  • fibre2g
  • protein44g
  • salt0.46g
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  • 2 tbsp olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 4 braising steak, about 200g/8oz each
  • 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 onions, finely sliced



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 3 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp paprika



    A spice that's central to Hungarian cuisine, paprika is made by drying a particular type of…

  • 100ml red wine
  • 400g can chopped tomato
  • 1 tsp tomato purée
  • 2 bay leaf
  • chopped coriander, to serve


  1. Heat oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 1. Heat half the oil in a shallow casserole dish. Brown the steaks well on each side, then remove from the pan. Splash the vinegar into the pan and let it bubble and almost evaporate. Add the rest of the olive oil and the onion, and gently fry on a medium heat for 10-15 mins until softened and starting to colour.

  2. Once the onion has softened, stir in the garlic and the paprika. Cook for 1 min more, tip in the red wine and chopped tomatoes, then stir through the tomato purée and bay leaves. Season, pop the steaks back into the pan, then cover and place in the oven for 2 hrs, stirring halfway through and adding a splash of water if needed. Cook until the meat is very tender. The stew can now be cooled and chilled for 2 days and reheated or frozen for up to 3 months. To serve, scatter with coriander.

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Comments (19)

lauramoore23's picture

As per other users' comments, I found this recipe disappointing on the grounds that 1. the meat was tough as old boots, and 2. the sauce was wholly unremarkable.

liznfil's picture

Having read the comments about being undercooked and under flavoured, I doubled the paprika and wine. Also added a good splash of dark soy sauce (as per another similar recipe on another site) then 500ml pack of supermarket fresh beef stock and cooked for 4 hours. I removed the meat and onions using a slotted spoon and briskly boiled the liquid until well reduced to concentrate the flavour before returning to the meat to serve. Yummy!

michael_k's picture

This proved to be a meal that all the family enjoyed & would definitely have again, the braising steak was nice & tender after cooking it for the recommended 2 hours, buying quality meat definitely paid off

margus's picture

You really have to be an idiot to mess this up. Due to the lack of the red wine in the house at the moment (not that I would take any blame for that) I had to make some alterations, but it still turned up very nice with Lyon potatoes.
One might consider replacing the paprika with sugar, though, depending on the taste of the tomatoes and tomato purée. But it's a nice, comforting dish even as it says in the recipe.

auraobie's picture

The sauce was a lovely flavour, but i felt that the dish needed at least an hour extra cooking time, the meat was still a bit tough after the recommended time.

loauty's picture

A little "tomatoey" for me, will leave out tomato puree next time, also think I will try it in the slow cooker and maybe the sauce won't reduce so much

sauvignontank's picture

I thought this was horrible and I'm a huge fan of braised beef, the cooking time wasn't long enough and there was no depth to the flavours!

cjeajj's picture

Not impressed. I took previous commentators' advice and doubled paprika and I added an extra bay leaf but still :-(
Also ended up having to cook it for 3.5 hours (fortunately I'd allowed extra time for cooking as I have previously found Barney Desmazarey's recipes significantly underestimate cooking time....... )

I suggest you don't bother trying this recipe

glenyst's picture

I first encountered this dish in the Azores, where it is served with chips AND rice together! I was delighted to come across a recipe for it, and made no changes. It came out well, but a little more tomatoey than I remember it. Think I added too much purée by accident.

clayartist's picture

Made this a few times and every time very good,some of the suggestions I think I will try

mrscartwright's picture

I found this very bland about 1hr into the cooking so I added 3 beef stock cubes into a small amount of water so that it was very concentrated and would not make the dish too watery. I also added a spoon of sugar some balsamic vinegar and an extra spoon of paprika. Fab !

mcmitch's picture

Although I made a few alterations, this is a decent recipe and one which I'll be using again, soon. Didn't have any vinegar so instead reduced down some of the red wine to start, worked out fine. Would probably add a bit more paprika next time. Good and filling but not outstanding.

weezles's picture

I've made this dish a few times and always really enjoyed it. Last time I added a couple of tsp of redcurrant jelly, this added a sweetness to the dish. I'll definitely be doing this from now on.

eleanormayo's picture

I made this in advance for entertaining and the only change I made was to add 200ml of stock. I used a mixture of sweet smoked paprika and hot smoked paprika and have to admit that whilst it was very tasty, it just reminded me of goulash. Served it with mashed potato and greens.

marcella's picture

Have cooked this a few times now. I put it in the oven and cook slowly for hours! Sometimes do Boulangere potatoes then dinner done and cooking and just need to do veg when I am ready to eat! Very tasty and popular in my house!

srussb's picture

No great depth of flavour in the sauce and found that the steak was still tough after two hours cooking. Definitely needs something else to perk it up. Really disappointing - wouldn't make again.

louisa1973's picture

I made this last night and it was superb and very easy. A definite winner I served it with Sugar snap peas and potatoe wedges.

kimkap's picture

This dish was so simple to make and was simply delicious. Served it with mashed potatoe and sweetcorn with some bread to dip the gravy up. My husband gave this one 10 out of 10 and can't wait til I make it again.

cat123's picture

Nice enough, but not particularly special, I thought.

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