This paper presents novel results on optimal multivariable deadbeat control. Given a discrete-time, stable, linear and time invariant plant model, we give a simple parameterisation of all stabilising ripple-free deadbeat controllers of a given order. The free parameter is then optimised in the sense that a quadratic index is kept minimal. The optimality criterion has the advantage of accounting for both tracking performance and magnitude of the control effort. The proposed design procedure is simple to use and allows the tuning of the controller with a scalar weighting factor. Simulation results are included to illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed design algorithm.