Carbonade Flamande - Flemish Beef and Beer Stew/Casserole
Slow cooked beef with garlic, onions and bacon in Belgian beer - served with Dijon mustard croutons.......absolute bliss! I have eaten this many times on visits to Belgium and it remains a firm favourite, especially when eaten with piles of fluffy mashed potatoes and a glass of fine Belgian beer! This recipe serves two hungry people, but it can be increased to serve a crowd, and works beautifully in the crockpot too. (The recipe is courtesy of Cecile Loubaud and the Batham's Brewery.) NB: Traditionally, the meat should be grilled on a barbecue - hence the name! The word comes from the Italian carbonate (charcoal-grilled).
- Ready In:
- 3hrs 15mins
- 500 g beef (chuck cut into 5mm thick slices)
- 4 bacon, cut into cubes (thick slices)
- 3 onions, roughly diced (mirepoix)
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 bouquet garni (bay leaf, parsley, thyme)
- 1 (1/2 pint) bottle of belgian strong brown ale, Beer
- 1⁄2 liter beef stock
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 20 g butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 7 -8 slices French bread, baguette
- 2 -3 tablespoons brown sugar
- Dijon mustard
- Preheat the oven to 170C, 340F, gas mark 3.
- Make sure the pieces of beef are thoroughly dry, using paper towels.
- In a flame-proof casserole, heat the butter and olive oil. Add the bacon cubes and fry them until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon. Reserve.
- Make sure your flame-proof casserole is thoroughly heated. Place the pieces of beef and brown them on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon. Keep warm.
- Place the onions and garlic on the bottom of the casserole dish and cook until transparent (lightly golden). Season well with salt and pepper.
- Add the sugar and mix thoroughly. Cook until a light caramelisation appears then add the red wine vinegar. Mix thoroughly then cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the cooked beef and bacon to the dish. Mix carefully to make sure there is a full marriage of the flavours of the meat with the onions.
- Pour the beer then the beef stock until the meat is entirely covered with liquid. Add the bouquet garni.
- Cut the slices of bread then spread Dijon mustard on the bread. Cover the meat with the bread.
- Place in the oven. The carbonade should cook slowly between 2 and 3 hours, or in a crockpot for up to 5 hours on high.
- When cooked mix the bread thoroughly by breaking it up in the dish, the bread works as a thickener for the sauce. Taste then adjust the seasoning. Serve hot.
- In Belgium the carbonade will be served with chips/fries/frites. In Northern France, it will be served with either braised chicory in butter or red cabbage.