Slow cooker Draadjesvlees (Dutch Beef Roast) is budget-friendly meat stewed in a sauce with simple ingredients and some waiting time. This stew made in the slow cooker is one of the most famous recipes from Dutch cuisine. And in my opinion, one of the best. One of my favorite Dutch Comfort Food recipes.
Draadjesvlees Dutch Beef Roast
When I used to visit my grandmother, there was a large pot of Dutch beef roast on the stove on the stove. Stewed in butter (my grandma didn't go for substitutes), and her whole house smelled of this tender meat. Sometimes we ate draadjesvlees with some bread, other times with red cabbage and potatoes. And the pan always went empty.
You can compare draadjesvlees with hachee stew (an authentic Dutch recipe), but without a large amount of onions. It's old-fashioned delicious! It is called draadjesvlees (which means threads of meat) because the meat falls apart into threads due to the long stewing.
And do you also love good old-fashioned Dutch comfort food? Consider Limburgs Zuurvlees (also prepared in the Slow cooker), Grandma's Dutch meatballs, and authentic Dutch erwtensoep (split pea soup).
My grandma made this on the stove and let it cook on the simmering plate for hours. But, of course, my granny was always at home, so it was no problem to keep an eye on it. But if you're busy or have to work, a slow cooker is a godsend (and you know I'm a big fan of the slow cooker).
A slow cooker is made to add all the ingredients to the pot without frying, which is also fine in this case. But, just like my grandmother, I fry the onion and the meat first. A tradition I don't want to let go of because it feels right. If you don't have time or want to avoid washing that many dishes, add the onion and meat to the pot right away. Your stew will undoubtedly be delicious!
What do you need for Slow Cooker Draadjesvlees?
To prepare this Draadjesvlees Dutch Beef Roast, you need the following ingredients. You can find the correct amounts in the recipe card at the bottom of the blog:
- Blade Steak - From the shoulder part of the beef. The tendon that runs through the meat gives it its typical taste. You could substitute it with a chuck roast, round roast, or tri-tip roast.
- Flour, salt, and pepper - Dust the meat with the flour and season with salt and pepper. The flour ensures that the sauce will thicken slightly. Also, baking it with the meat doesn't get lumps in your sauce.
- Butter - Real butter. Gives a creamy taste.
- Onion and Garlic - Seasonings in the sauce.
- Red wine vinegar - The acidity makes the meat more tender
- Kecap Manis and Light Soy Sauce - Kecap Manis is an Indonesian sweet soy sauce, and Light Soy Sauce is salty. Both give more depth to the sauce.
- Mustard - Adds a little spice to the sauce.
- Bay Leaves - The bay leaf resembles thyme and oregano, but with a warm undertone.
- Cloves - Use whole cloves that you stick in the bay leaves (this makes them easier to remove after stewing). It is a warm aromatic spice, slightly peppery.
- Stock cube - To add more flavor to the sauce.
How to prepare Slow-Braised Beef
You can find a printable recipe with a step-by-step description at the bottom of this blog.
- Melt butter in the pan and fry the onion for 3 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and stir-fry for half a minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in the slow cooker. Mix the flour with the salt and pepper and press the steaks into the flour. Beat the excess flour from the meat. Add the beef to the remaining butter in the skillet.
- Fry until the meat is golden brown on both sides (about 4 minutes per side). Place the blade steaks on the onions.
- Put the vinegar, Kecap Manis, Soy sauce, Mustard, Stock cube, and water in the slow cooker. Mix everything well. Stick the cloves in the bay leaves and place them on top of the cooking liquid. Put the lid on the pan.
- Set the slow cooker to low and simmer for at least 8 hours. Remove the bay leaves with cloves, stir everything well again and serve.
Tips, Substitutions, and Variations
- Instead of red wine vinegar and water, you can replace the vinegar and half the water with red wine. This gives a slightly deeper flavor. However, I left it out of this recipe because we ate it with children.
- If you want a slightly thicker sauce, add cornstarch paste half an hour before serving and stir well (1 teaspoon of cornstarch dissolved in 3 tablespoons of cold water).
- The meat is seared here, but this is not necessary. Instead, a slow cooker is designed to add food without frying in front.
- If you are in a hurry, you can cook the meat on high for 6 hours. But to be fair, draadjesvlees taste best when you stew them for a long time at a low temperature.
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Draadjesvlees Dutch Beef Roast
- ½ stick butter
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic squeezed
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 pounds blade steak
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon kecap manis
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1 ½ teaspoon mustard
- 1 beef stock cube
- 1 cup water
- 3 bay leaves
- 5 cloves
Ingredients you need per step are listed below the step in Italic
- Melt the butter in the pan and fry the onion over medium heat for 3 minutes. Then add the garlic and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in the slow cooker.½ stick butter, 1 onion, 2 cloves garlic
- Mix the flour with salt and pepper. Press the blade steaks in the flour mix and knock off the excess flour. Fry the meat in the remaining butter until golden brown on both sides (about 4 minutes per side).4 tablespoons all-purpose flour, ¼ teaspoon salt, 2 pounds blade steak, ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Place the meat on top of the onions in the slow cooker pot.
- Pour the vinegar, kecap manis, soy sauce, and water into the slow cooker. Also, add the mustard and stock cube. Stir well.2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon kecap manis, 1 tablespoon light soy sauce, 1 ½ teaspoon mustard, 1 beef stock cube, 1 cup water
- Insert the cloves into the bay leaves and place them on the sauce.3 bay leaves, 5 cloves
- Put the lid on the slow cooker and turn it on low for at least 8 hours.
- Remove the bay leaves and serve.
- Refrigerator - Quickly cool the meat. You can keep draadjesvlees covered in the refrigerator for up to two days.
- Freezer - Cool the draadjesvlees quickly and place them in an airtight freezer container or bag and freeze. This keeps it good for up to 3 months. Then, let it thaw in the refrigerator.
- Reheating - Reheat the meat with sauce over medium heat while stirring until hot.