Monday, July 13, 2009

Carbonade de Boeuf

I love motherhood! Noah just turned 1 month three days ago and already, I feel like he is getting used to a schedule. He absolutely loves the outdoors, despite this unbearable heat. I can't wait for cooler temperatures to take advantage of long walks with him - without feeling like you're living in an oven.

My parents flew over from France to meet him and come help us. My Mom treated us to some good old homestyle French cooking, which Juan and I took great pleasure in. There were MANY aperitifs and bottles of wine involved, along with introducing my Dad to Super Mario Kart on the Wii. That was fun!

As I seldom see my parents for either Mother's Day or Father's Day, I had planned to throw a nice dinner in honor of my Dad. When my parents arrived here, we got busy doing baby things and tried to use the stove as little as possible because of the heat and so I never got to making it - but Juan approves of it!

However, I still wanted to share the recipe of the dish I had selected with you. It's called Une carbonade de boeuf and it's a Belgian specialty. It's also very popular in the north of France. I thought it would be a wonderful choice for a Dad, as it involves beef and beer (and potatoes too!). How wrong can you get? It's a very simple and cheap stew, which I know you will all love at any time. It was my first time to make it and to me, it's a keeper!

Like any other stew, the dish gets better and better after a few days... I strongly advise to make it days ahead before serving!


2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 pounds of chuck roast, cut in big dices
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp vegetable oil (for onions)
2 big onions, sliced
2 cups of dark beer (preferably Belgian like Jenlain)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp of Cassonade or just simple sugar
2 slices of white bread
1 tbsp of good quality Dijon mustard
1 tsp of dried thyme
1 good handful of chopped parsley
Salt and pepper

In a Dutch oven or large saucepan, heat the butter and olive oil. Pat dry the beef chunks, season with salt and pepper and toss in the flour. Brown the meat on each side over medium to high heat (work in 2 to 3 batches). Really allow it to get to a nice brown color, which will give wonderful flavor. Remove the meat and set aside on a plate.

Turn the heat down to low and heat 1 tbsp of oil. Add the onions and cook until brown and tender, about 15 minutes. Deglaze with 3 tbsp of beer, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Transfer the meat back into the onions.

Add the rest of the beer, the vinegar, the sugar and thyme to the pan. Spread the mustard on the bread slices and add on top of the stew.

Cover and allow to simmer for about 2 hours, stirring often or it will stick at the bottom! You want the meat to be extra tender. You must be able to break it down with a fork. Remove the lid and allow to cook down to a thicker consistency (reduce to half).

Adjust seasoning to taste (you might need to add more sugar if it's too bitter). At the end, throw in the parsley. Allow to sit for at least a day and up to 3 days before serving. It goes wonderfully well with french fries, steamed potatoes or noodles. Serve with a nice cold Belgian beer.


kiss my spatula said...

happy 1 month old to your new baby boy! this looks simply amazing - love it and can't wait to give it a try! thank you!

Anna said...

This sounds great! I'm going to make it tomorrow. Wish I could come to your presentation on the 22.

Jeff Pickthall said...

Jenlain is French

Laetitia said...

Jeff - Yes indeed it is but it's made in the North of France, right at the border of Belgium, where they also make and eat Carbonnade, that's why I suggested that.