Draadjesvlees (Traditional Dutch Slow-Braised Beef)

Dutch braised beef


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Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 3 hrs
Total: 3 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
595 Calories
26g Fat
13g Carbs
79g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 595
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 33%
Saturated Fat 13g 64%
Cholesterol 251mg 84%
Sodium 688mg 30%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 79g
Vitamin C 5mg 25%
Calcium 86mg 7%
Iron 8mg 43%
Potassium 1261mg 27%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This old-fashioned Dutch beef and onion stew is slowly braised in butter, stock and spices until the meat actually falls apart into threads and indeed, draadjesvlees means "thready meat". It tastes a lot better than it sounds and is the kind of homely winter food that you prepare on weekends: the meat in the pot may take hours, but you don't have to do much to it, which leaves you free to fold the laundry or potter about the house. This kind of hearty winter family meal sits well with traditional accompaniments such as mashed potato, green beans, red cabbage, apple sauce, or boiled potatoes rolled in some butter and finely chopped parsley.


  • 1 kilogram (2 pounds) stewing beef

  • 50 grams (3 1/2 tablespoons) unsalted butter

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 3 large onions, finely chopped

  • 750 milliliters (3 1/4 cups) beef stock, or chicken stock

  • 4 whole cloves

  • 3 bay leaves

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 1 teaspoon juniper berries

  • 2 tablespoons vinegar

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Pat the meat dry with clean kitchen paper and cut into medium chunks. Heat the butter in a large Dutch oven and brown the meat. Season with salt and pepper. Add the chopped onions and allow to caramelize.

  3. Pour the stock into the Dutch oven. Now add the spices and vinegar and bring to the boil. Once the stew comes to a boil, reduce the temperature to low, cover the Dutch oven with a lid and allow to simmer for at least 3 to 4 hours. Check every so often and add more water if required. If the stew's too thin when you're ready to serve, remove the meat and reduce the liquid over a medium heat, replacing the meat at the end to warm through.

  4. The dish is ready when the meat starts to disintegrate into threads and the liquid has reduced down to a thick gravy. Remove bay leaves, cinnamon stick, and whatever cloves and juniper berries you can find. Serve with boiled potatoes, red cabbage and apples or poached pears and apple sauce.


  • Like most stews, draadjesvlees tastes even better the next day, making it an excellent make-ahead family meal.

Recipe Variation

  • If you prefer, switch to chicken stock.

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