Les Carbonades Flamandes / Flemish Beef Stew Recipe

Les Carbonades Flamandes
While in Bruges, Belgium we visited this very tiny restaurant called mozarthuy's on a sleepy back street. A fire roared inside, and we entered dripping from the cold European rain.We hung our scarfs and jackets on the coat rack and took a seat. We enjoyed drinks and laughter, then moments later came forth a beautiful bounty of Belgian cuisine ordered by our tour guide and best friend, Sarah. She had been living in Brussels for over a year and did a wonderful job of ordering some authentic dishes often passed over by tourists. One of her favorites is Les Carbonades Flamandes otherwise known as Flemish beef stew to us westerners. 


Carbonades Flamandes is about as Belgian as you can get, and each Belgian family has their own take on the stew. Cooked in a rich dark beer (golden ambrosia) and often served with frites (French fries), I absolutely loved this recipe and this dish which we adopted from Belgian cook and author Ruth Van Waerebeek. If you like it, be sure to check out her book, called "Everybody eats Well In Belgium."


    Ingredients:
    4 lbs chunked stew meat
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    2-3 tablespoons flour
    1/2 stick unsalted butter
    3 large sliced onions
    2 bottles of Belgian Beer
    1 teaspoon of dried thyme
    2 bay leaves
    1.5 tablespoons red currant jelly (or brown sugar)
    1 tablespoon red cider or red wine vinegar

    Method:
    1. Season beef cubes with salt and pepper and dredge in flour.
    2. Saute beef in butter in batches then transfer to Dutch oven
    3. Saute onion in butter until browned then transfer to Dutch oven.
    4. De-glaze skillet with beer, add to Dutch oven and add thyme and bay leaves.
    5 Simmer for 1.5-2 hours
    6. Before serving remove bay leaves, and add currant jelly allowing to simmer an additional 5 minutes.

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