Carbonnade de Boeuf

carbonnade de boeufDiary of a Wannabe Chef: Day 7 of my Chef Diploma at Ceria Brussels

This is a classic Belgian Stew, and one that is extremely delicious during a cold winter’s day.  The addition of the spiced bread and mustard, gives the dish a lovely sweet tang, that leaves you with a lovely comforting feeling – I would highly recommend this after a lovely crisp February walk, but it is equally as nice for a large dinner party.

Ingredients:

  • 500g Beef
  • Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • A couple of tablespoons of flour
  • 1 bottle of brown beer (Leffe Brun)
  • 500ml of beef stock
  • Bouquet Garni (1 bay leaf, a couple of stalks of parsley, and a couple of stalks of thyme, wrapped together with string)
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Bread (for best results use spiced bread, but some nice crusty brown or white bread, would be just as good)

 Method:

  • Cut beef into chunks.  Heat a frying pan until hot.  Add a little oil, and fry the beef chunks.  Do this in small batches, and once coloured on all sides, take out the pan, and leave to one side.

TOP TIP: The pan needs to be very hot before you add oil.

  • Season the meat, and cover with a couple of tablespoon s of flour.

TOP TIP: For best results use roasted flour (I’m not sure if this is the direct translation, in French it is called ‘Farine Torrifier’).  This will essentially make your flour go from white, to brown, and help to ensure a richer colour is achieved, especially when creating brown sauces.  It is very simple to do, simply put some flower onto a grill pan, and put it under the grill, and mix it every 30 seconds or so.  You must keep your eye on it, as it can very quickly and easily burn.  Once it is a golden brown colour, it is ready to use.

  • Lightly deglaze the pan you have been using with a splash of beer, and pour any beer that remains over the beer.  This is just to clean the pan out.
  • Saute the onions, and once soft, add the demerera.
  • Add the remainder of beer, and stir.  Bring to the boil.
  • Add the beef, and add the beef stock. Bring to the boil.
  • Add the bouquet garni, adjust the seasoning to your taste, cover with a lid, and place in the oven at 180C.
  • After 1 – 1.5 hours, prepare the bread, by spreading the mustard on the slices of bread, and add them to the top of the dish.

TOP TIP: If you wanted a sweeter stew, you could also add a large handful of prunes at this point aswell.

  • Place it back into the oven for another 30 minutes.  The bread will have disappeared into the sauce, and you will be left with a nice thick, rich sauce.
  • This is best served the Belgian way with some lovely crisp and fluffy chips, but it would be just as nice served the British way, with some nice, creamy, mash!
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