There was a time when every Dutch housewife had her own family's version of an onion stew recipe. This delicious version, by chef Geert Elzinga, will again recall the lovely flavours of yesterday.






Skill level

Average: 3.4 (22 votes)


  • 5 large onions, peeled and sliced
  • 60 g butter
  • 600 g diced beef (shin or blade)
  • 30 g flour
  • ¾ litre beef stock
  • 10 ml red wine vinegar
  • 10 g sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 tbsp apple syrup (optional)

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Place the onions and butter in a pot over medium heat and cook for about 30 minutes or until caramelised.

Dust the meat with the flour and add to the onions.

Pour in the beef stock until just covered and stir. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for about an hour or until the beef is soft.

Add the vinegar and sugar, and season with salt and pepper. (You can add apple syrup as well, if desired.)

Serve with a mound of mash potato, with a salad or green beans on the side.