November 16, 2011
Flemish Beef Stew
I love Jacques Pepin, that man could build a house with a spoon and a knife. In Octobers Food and Wine magazine they featured a few of his recipes from his new book Essential Pépin, one of the recipes was for Carbonnade a la Flamande or Flemish Beef Stew. It two of the essential food groups, beer and meat, I must make it.
2 tbs unsalted butter
1 ½ pounds blade steaks cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices, about 3 inches wide
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 ½ cups thickly sliced onions
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 12-ounce Dark Belgian beers
¼ tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
Chopped parsley, for garnish
In a Dutch oven or soup pot, melt 2 tbs of the butter.
Season the beef with salt and pepper and add half of it to the casserole. Cook over moderate heat until lightly browned, 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with remaining beef.
Add the onions to the pot cover and cook over low heat, stirring, until browned, 8 minutes.
Stir in the flour until the onions are well-coated, and then slowly add the beer.
Return the meat to the casserole along with any accumulated juices. Add the thyme and bay leaves, cover and simmer over low heat, stirring, until the beef is tender, 2 hours.
Uncover and transfer the meat to a bowl. Simmer the sauce over moderate heat until thickened slightly.
Discard the bay leaves.
Return the meat to the casserole and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parsley.
This is a great starter stew, very few ingredients and very easy to make although it does taste that way. Very basic flavor, maybe the beer I used didn’t have strong enough flavors. I used a Magic Hat #9 and a Yuengling Black and Tan, both said Belgium on the label. The meat breaks down a lot and the onions totally dissolved into the sauce.
My favorite thing about his recipes is he breaks them down in easy to follow steps so you can take the recipe and add your own touches to it. Use a different beer, or substitute stock or wine. Maybe add a few more herbs.
Thanks Jacques for another great lesson.