Saturday, October 10, 2009

Carbonnade a la Flamande (Beer Stew)

Every once in a while you have a craving for something from your childhood, something that mom made. I unfortunately seem destined to fail at recreating these no matter how closely I follow the recipe. This is a recipe I hated as a child but wanted to try anyway. I think my mother found this in a magazine or newspaper approx. 20-30 years ago but we changed some of the ingredients and amounts. Here I left the sauce amounts the same but used the same large ingredient amounts that I used when I halved the recipe. For some reason even though it was on low all my liquid evaporated too fast and so I burned a little of it. There wasn't any sauce left so I cooked some egg noodles in beef bouillon and used the broth to make more sauce. This is what my mom recommended after she heard the story. So if you try it this way let me know how it comes out. We always ate just the potatoes and not the noodles but when J came home he said his family's stew always had both and why couldn't we. I personally think one or the other is fine. I prefer less starch as a general rule.

Carbonnade a la Flamande (Beer Stew)

3-4 servings

1/4 c. flour

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper

1-1.5 lbs. lean beef chuck, well trimmed, cut into 1-inch cubes

1/8 c. peanut oil

3 Tbsp. tomato paste (or 3 Tbsp catsup and omit the sugar)

1 Tbsp. sugar

1 large garlic clove, minced

1 bay leaf

1/8 tsp. thyme

1 tsp dried parsley

3 cups (24 oz.) beer

6-7 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks

1 large onions

Freshly cooked noodles and or 2 potatoes peeled and cut into uniform chunks

  1. Combine flour, salt and pepper in bag or Tupperware container. Add meat and shake to coat well.
  2. Heal oil in a large flat pan or skillet. Add meat in batches (do not crowd pan) and brown on all sides.
  3. Add seasonings and beer and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover partially and simmer about 1 1/2 hours. Discard bay leaf.
  4. Add carrots, potatoes, and onion and simmer 1 hour longer. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  5. Serve over bed of egg noodles.

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