Carbonnade a la Flamande
Beef Stew with Belgian Dubbel Ale
Makes 4 to 6 servings
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup smoked pork lardons or bacon cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
2 tablespoons soft brown sugar
1⅔ cups beef stock
3 medium yellow onions, chopped
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons ground allspice
2 pounds beef shank or chuck cut into small cubes
¼ cup flour
2 cups dark Belgian ale
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
pinch of black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
2. Heat a large heavy pot (with a lid) over medium-high heat and melt the butter. Add the lardons and cook them until crisp.
3. While lardons are cooking, in a large bowl mix the mustard, brown sugar and beef stock. Set aside.
4. Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the onions. Stir well and cook until translucent. Add the dried thyme and ground allspice and mix them with the onions and lardons.
5. Add the beef cubes and turn them around a few times to be sure they sear on all sides (don’t overdo it). Dust the flour over the meat and stir. Add the beef stock, mustard and brown sugar mixture and stir. Add the beer and stir again. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil.
6. Add the bay leaves, salt and pepper, give a final stir and cover with the pot lid.
7. Put the covered pot in the oven and cook for 3 hours. Check to see if the meat is fork tender-it should be-but if needed, cook an additional 30 minutes.