How to slow-simmer beef in the oven

The greatest beef pot roasts and casseroles are quick to prepare and easy to cook. All you need is the right cut – and the patience to resist the enticing aromas as your dish slow-simmers to an outstanding, fork-tender finish.

What you need to know

Select the right cut 

Best beef cuts for slow-simmering

  • Chuck
  • Shin
  • Blade
  • Brisket
  • Round
  • Silverside (uncorned)
  • Skirt
  • Flank
  • Shin bone in/osso bucco
  • Boneless shin/gravy beef
  • Oxtail
  • Beef spare ribs 


Less expensive cuts are best !

  • Cheaper cuts give the best flavour and tenderness experience. They have a little more fat, and that's a good thing – cuts with too little fat can end up dry and stringy.
  • If you're cubing beef yourself, follow the natural division of the meat and cut across the grain. 
  • Cut beef into even-sized 2–3 cm pieces – any smaller and the meat will shrink as it cooks.


Four steps to slow-simmer success

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C–180°C. Coat beef cubes with oil instead of adding oil to the dish.
  2. Heat a large pan over a moderately high heat. Brown meat in small batches. Remove each batch and place in casserole dish.
  3. Reduce heat in pan to low, add onions, garlic, spices and cook until onion is transparent. Add flavourings, firm vegetables and liquid, occasionally stirring until boiling. Pour over beef and stir to combine.
  4. Cover, place in oven and simmer for required time or until beef is supremely tender. Stir occasionally and adjust the heat to maintain a simmer. Add a little water or stock if needed to keep the ingredients just covered.


Cut vs cooking time

Different cuts need different cooking times. Check out our slow-simmer cooking guide here.  

Chef's Tip

Controlling the heat is important. Too low and the casserole will be flavourless, too high and the casserole will boil, resulting in tough, dry meat.


The importance of browning beef

Take your browning nice and slow as this enriches the delicious flavour and colour of your casserole. Check out our top tips for browning meat for casseroles or braised dishes and discover the science behind why browning develops such amazing flavours here. 


Make the most of those brown bits

After browning, you'll discover tasty caramelised residue at the bottom of your pan. Don't lose these meaty marvels – scrape them up, blend with the liquid and add to your dish to give it a deep, rich flavour and colour. Find out more about this delicious residue on our pan juice page.


How to tell if your casserole is ready 

Lucky you – you need to taste it! It's ready when the sauce is a rich flavour, slightly thickened, and the beef falls apart easily with a fork.


Need more help?

Cooking in advance? Read how to reheat, freeze safely

Find slow-simmered beef recipes