Monday, February 14, 2011

Dinner for two (or 4 or 6) on V-day.

This is one of my all time favorite meals to cook or eat. The husband agrees. The girls agree. They won't be joining in tonight. They're having mac and cheese and broccoli and calling it a night. Carbonnades a la Flamande (Flemish Beef Stew) is basically a beef and beer stew with onions. It's delicious. This recipe is my combination of three different recipes. I tend to serve it with PW's Creamy Mashed Potatoes. 

Carbonnades a la Flamande 

  • Family Size package of stew beef OR a 2.5 to 5 lb chuck roast
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 3 medium yellow onions sliced about 1/4 inch thick (about 8 cups)
  • 1 cups beef broth
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 oz bottle) Newcastle Brown Ale (you could use a Belgian ale or pale ale)
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme or rosemary (have omitted before)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves chopped or smashed garlic
  • 1 Tbsp whole grain or Dijon mustard 
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp brown sugar 
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar 
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Pat beef dry with paper towels, season well with salt and pepper. On the stove top, heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large heavy bottomed dutch oven over medium-high heat until hot, almost smoking. Working in batches, brown the meat, without stirring, about 3 minutes on each side. Transfer browned beef to a separate bowl.

Add 2 tablespoons butter to dutch oven; reduce heat to medium. Add the onions, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt; cook until onions are browned, about 15 minutes. Add garlic; cook until garlic is fragrant.  Stir in broth, scraping pan bottom to loosen browned bits; stir in beer, herbs, browned beef with any of the accumulated juices, and salt and pepper to taste. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a full simmer. Cover pot and cook in oven 4 to 5 hours. About half an hour before it finishes cooking, combine cornstarch and vinegar, add to pot, also add the mustard and brown sugar. 
Discard herbs. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over mashed potatoes or buttered egg noodles. 

For dessert,  My Granny's Chocolate Cobbler and vanilla ice cream. 

I'm drooling in anticipation. 

(The Carbonnades before going into the oven)


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