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Seared Beef with Cipolline Onions and Horseradish Dumplings - Pure, delicious comfort food!

The month of June is by far, the busiest month of the year for us!  Over the last week we hosted our annual kid’s party and I volunteered at “fun day” at school.  This week, we have a bridging ceremony for Daisy Girl Scouts, dance recital rehearsal and the last day of school (yay!), and this coming weekend is the actual dance recital as well as Father’s Day celebrations!  Then – birthday parties to attend, the final swim meet of the season, some family trips, the start to summer camp…and then it’s July 4th!  Phew – what a whirlwind month!

Seared Beef with Cipolline Onions and Horseradish Dumplings - Pure, delicious comfort food!

So with all that going on, we’re always looking for simple comfort food recipes that the whole family will love!  This Seared Beef with Cippoline Onions and Horseradish Dumplings is a great stovetop meal that makes enough for a hearty family dinner – plus leftovers to enjoy the next day when you don’t have time to cook!

Super tender chunks of beef are simmered in a rich, delicious gravy along with little round cipolline onions that also cook up soft and tender.  To complete this hearty dish, we add flavorful savory horseradish dumplings on top of the beef, onions and gravy – making this a complete meal in one!

Seared Beef with Cipolline Onions and Horseradish Dumplings - Pure, delicious comfort food!

This seared beef with cipolline onions and horseradish dumplings is a recipe that my husband Jack has made for us many times over the years.  You can change up the flavors in both the gravy and the dumplings if you’d like – just follow the same method in the recipe and swap in your favorite herbs and seasonings!

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Seared Beef with Cipolline Onions and Horseradish Dumplings - A Family Feast

Seared Beef with Cipolline Onions and Horseradish Dumplings

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 30 mins
  • Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings


Cipolline onions come in various sizes. The larger the onion, the longer it will take to cook at the end of this recipe. We could only get very small onions in our local market at this time of year. I adjusted the cooking time at the end so the onions did not overcook. You will need to adjust your final cooking time based on the size of the onions you are able to find at the market.


  • 2 pounds cipolline onions
  • 2 ½ pound chuck roast cut into about 16 pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons softened butter divided
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound whole baby bella or button mushrooms
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 quarts beef stock
  • ½ cup port wine
  • Small bunch of thyme tied together with twine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon gravy flavoring such as Kitchen Bouquet
  • Additional 1 teaspoon salt, as needed
  • Additional ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • 2 tablespoons flour

To make the Dumplings

  • 1 ¼ cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 2 tablespoons milk


  1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and plunge in all of the onions; skin, root and all. Boil three minutes then plunge into cold water. Drain and bring to the cutting board. Cut off the root end and squeeze from the other end and the onion will pop out. If the other end has a long stem, you may want to trim a little off so the stem does not hold the onion from sliding out. Set onions aside.
  2. Salt and pepper both sides of the cut up beef.
  3. In a large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat, place two tablespoons of butter with the two tablespoons of olive oil. Once hot and starting to get frothy, add half of the beef (do not crowd meat) and sear on all sides. Once browned on all sides (8-10 minutes per batch), repeat for second half of beef. Set all of the seared beef aside.
  4. Reduce to medium and add one more tablespoons of butter and then add onions. Sauté three minutes then remove to a separate bowl. Add whole mushrooms and sauté for three more minutes. Add onions back in with mushrooms and add white wine and sugar. Cook for two minutes scraping up and bits from the bottom. Strain onions and mushrooms out to a bowl and refrigerate until later in this recipe.
  5. To the liquid left in the pot, add reserved beef and any liquid from the beef, beef stock, port wine, thyme bundle, bay leaves and kitchen bouquet. Bring to a boil, lower heat and cover. Cook on simmer for two hours.
  6. After two hours, remove cover and taste. If needed, add additional salt and pepper.
  7. Mix last two tablespoons of softened butter with two tablespoons of flour to form a paste and add to hot stock and beef. Stir to combine and add in reserved onions and mushrooms along with any liquid in the bowl. Bring back to hot.
  8. While beef is reheating, in a medium bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in thyme, yogurt, horseradish and milk to form a gooey dough.
  9. Drop by spoonfuls into the hot beef mixture, close lid and reduce to a simmer. Cook covered for 15 minutes.
  10. Serve the dumplings in a bowl with the beef and onions.

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  • Stephanie wrote:

    I’d like to try this, but don’t know if it’s manageable. Can you help me understand how I could do all the prep work in 20 minutes? Just browning 2 batches of beef in Step 3 at 8-10 minutes per batch is 16-20 minutes. It looks to me like the prep time is actually 45 – 60 minutes, plus more time for the dumplings later. I’m trying very hard to learn to time my meals accurately so I’d really like to know how you manage all those steps in 20 minutes.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Stephanie – Thanks for your question! Here is how my husband Jack estimated the prep and cooking time:

      The browning of the meat is part of the cooking time. The other steps are all cooking time. The two hours is the meat simmering and the 20-30 minutes (prep and cook) includes searing the meat and the other steps where the different steps require ingredients coming into and out of the pot.

      Prep is:
      cut up beef and season (2-3 minutes)
      Peel blanched onions (5-7 minutes)
      Mixing dumpling batter (5 minutes)
      Time to get ingredients out and measure (5 minutes)

      We may be faster cooks than some – so we do try to pad the timing listed – but it may not have been enough! Also in looking at the steps – we didn’t include the time it takes to boil the water so I just wanted to call that out as well. Thanks for your question – the times listed are meant to be a general guide but every cook is different (I’m a much slower prep cook than my husband Jack!) 🙂 Thanks for writing to us and please let me know if you have any other questions! Martha

  • Lisa wrote:

    We made this last night and it was out of this world! The dumplings were to die for! Thank you so much for the recipe!!

    • Martha wrote:

      We’re so glad you enjoyed the recipe Lisa! Thanks for writing to us to let us know! 🙂

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