September 28, 2002
Beery Beef Stew

We were at Nadia's mother's house over the weekend and, being the fabulous cook that she is, Chris made us a number of wonderful meals. This one in particular stuck out in my mind. I'm calling it a beef stew since it consisted of beef surrounded by a thick, flavorful liquid, but it had no vegetables and tasted different from other stews that I've had. In some respects it was similar to the braised veal dish that we made recently. I might not have guessed it on my own, but, according to Chris, the dish had beer in it, which may account for the unfamiliar taste I noticed. Served over spaetzle, it was very delicious. We've been promised the recipe and I'll post it when we have it.

Carbonnade A La Flamande
(Beer-Braised Beef, courtesy of Gourmet Magazine)
Serves 4

2 1/2 lbs. onions
3 lbs. boneless beef chuck
~1/2 c. AP flour
4 slices bacon
~4 Tb. vegetable oil
12 oz. Trappist ale (or other full-bodied ale, like Sam Adams)
1 c. beef broth
1 Tb. packed brown sugar
1 Tb. red-wine vinegar
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp. dried thyme

Preheat oven to 325.
Slice onions thinly. Cut beef into 1 1/2 in. cubes and pat dry. Chop bacon and cook in Dutch oven over medium heat until golden. Remove via slotted spoon.
Season beef with salt, pepper, dredge in flour, shaking off excess. Adding oil to pan if needed, brown beef in batches, and remove when brown. Add 1 Tb. oil, cook onions until golden brown (can add some water if they begin to stick). Add ale and broth and bring to boil, scraping up fond. Add brown sugar, vinegar, bay leaf, thyme, salt, pepper. Add in the beef and bacon, bring to boil, braise in overn until tender, about 2 1/2 hours.