8 hours ago
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
We eat very little red meat in this house, however, once a year I make this Belgian Beef stew known as "carbonnade" with Belgian Ale and onions.
Reserved for winter months only.
It is my go to beef stew and I love it best the next day.
It makes the whole house smell yummy.
I recently brought a pot of carbonnade over to my friend Rosemary's house (check out her wonderful blog Content in a Cottage) for dinner, and it made a cold winter night seem cozy and warm.
Remember to get a good sear on your meat. You will need to do this in 2 batches.
Crowding the meat will steam it.
Have all your ingredients ready to go and this is a cinch to make. Mise en place.
I suggest using a Belgian Ale, not a light beer and definitely not a Corona.
My dad brought this 6 pack over of Palm Belgian Ale, and since I am not a beer drinker, I was waiting to use it in this stew!
Best Belgian Beef Carbonnade:
3 lbs. good quality chuck meat (stew meat)
3 onions, sliced thick
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 slices bacon, chopped
2 bottles Belgian dark beer or ale (or 1 bottle of beer plus 1 cup of beef broth)
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 14 oz. can of chopped tomatoes
kosher salt and pepper
a splash of cider vinegar (optional) for finishing
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Salt & pepper your beef cubes and set them aside.
In a large heavy Dutch oven, fry up the bacon slices until crisp.
Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve 1 tbsp of the bacon fat.
Sear the beef cubes in 2 batches as to not crowd them (or they will steam).
This should take about 7 minutes for each batch, total.
Be patient, a good sear is important.
Set cubes aside in a bowl for later.
Add a small amount of olive oil and cook the onions until wilted. Add the garlic at the last minute. About 5 minutes total.
Now add in the can of tomatoes w/ juice, the 2 bottles of beer, the beef, bacon, herbs and brown sugar.
Bring to a boil then cover and immediately transfer to the oven.
Braise for 2 hours in the oven with the lid on.
I've seen many authentic recipes where they splash a bit of cider vinegar at the end.
That's up to you, but it makes it even more delicious.
Serve over egg noodles and stay warm!