Smother your palate with tradition and flavor

By Jim Bailey

Well worth your patience and time, the preparation of true Smothered Beef and Onions results in fall-apart tender beef and the great taste of seasoned onions with beef gravy blanketing the entire dish.

In the classic preparation, you can use any type of stew beef because you simmer the meat until it’s just as tender as a fine filet.

I cut out this lengthy method and spice it up a bit to present you a dish that still is representative of classic Smothered Beef and Onions, but with a pepper kick fighting right alongside three types of onions, kicking you from another angle. Enjoy.

1 teaspoon cracked pepper
2 teaspoons sherry
1 tablespoon cornstarch
4 tablespoons vegetables oil, divided

8 ounces cubed beef *
3 tablespoons beef broth
2 teaspoons sherry
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoons minced garlic in oil
1/2 small yellow onion, julienned
1/2 small red onion, julienned
8 green onions, cut into 2-inch segments

Whisk first three ingredients together along with 2 tablespoons oil in a large bowl. Add the beef cubes in the marinade and let soak for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, whisk together beef broth, 2 teaspoons sherry and tomato paste: set aside.

Heat remaining oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Remove meat from marinade, shaking off excess liquid and very carefully add to skillet along with the garlic. Discard marinade.

Stir fry meat until no longer pink in the middle, about 2-3 minutes, depending on how large the beef cubes are.

Add the onions and cook 2 minutes longer, stirring constantly, or until onions are crisp tender.

Add the tomato paste mixture and cook one additional minute, stirring constantly, until thickened.

Remove and serve hot.

* I highly suggest flat-iron, top round or sirloin for a tender, rather inexpensive cuts of meat. Of course using tenderloin or porter house are the best choices, but a little pricey.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeThe Yankee Chef

About the Author: Jim Bailey is a third generation Yankee Chef, New England food historian and newspaper columnist. His first cookbook, simply titled The Yankee Chef, has been published. He welcomes all feedback, questions or comments at

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