|Flaming tasty - Carbonade flamanade ready to eat.|
|Sweating the veg until soft.|
|Chunks of beef shin coated in seasoned flour.|
|Beautifully browned beef shin chunks.|
Serve carbonade flamande with mashed potato, or even better, just-fried frites. Thank you Belgium!
|Bubbling beef and beer casserole.|
Together with sides, this dish should easily serve four people.
Preparation and cooking
- 800g of stewing steak – preferably shin of beef – with any excess fat and sinew removed, and cut into 2-3cm chunks.
- 1 large onion, peeled and medium sliced.
- 2 large sticks of celery – medium sliced.
- 1 medium-large carrot, scrubbed and cut in large-ish chunks.
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed.
- Olive oil for frying.
- 2 bay leaves, fresh if available.
- 2 large sprigs of thyme, leaves removed from stalks.
- 2 tablespoons, or so, of plain flour (enough to coat the beef).
- 1 teaspoon of hot, smoked paprika.
- 1 teaspoon of redcurrant or cranberry jelly.
- Around 500 ml of brown Belgian beer (such as Leffe Brune) or a good quality, local, dark, hoppy ale.
- Salt and pepper.
Preparation and cooking
- Preheat your oven to 140 degrees Celsius.
- In a medium to large, lidded casserole dish heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over a medium heat. Add a pinch of salt (this helps stop the onion catching). Add the chopped onion, carrot and celery, stir and fry for five minutes, then add the crushed garlic and cook until the vegetables begin to soften, stirring occasionally.
- Add the flour, smoked paprika and a good pinch of salt and pepper to a lidded plastic storage container, big enough to hold the beef chunks, and mix together. Add the beef to the container, securely attach the lid and give a good shake to thoroughly coat the beef with the flour mixture.
- Heat a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and add a good glug of olive oil – about a couple of tablespoons. When the oil is hot, add the floured chunks of beef and brown on all sides. You may need to do this in batches to avoid overfilling the frying pan, in which case the meat will steam instead of sear.
- When browned, add the beef to the casserole dish containing the softening vegetables, and stir. Turn up the heat to high and throw in the bay leaves and thyme and then carefully pour in the beer – BE CAREFUL, it will bubble and steam fiercely at first.
- Stir in the redcurrant jelly, and allow the ingredients to come to the boil and then simmer for about five minutes to let most of the alcohol from the beer to evaporate.
- Cover the casserole dish with its lid then place in the oven for at least three hours, until the meat is so tender it is possible to break up a chunk of the beef with a fork.
- The slow cooking, together with the flour coating on the beef, such have produced a thick beer gravy. However, if you prefer a thicker sauce remove the meat and vegetables with a slotted spoon and place in warmed dish in a low oven, whilst rapidly simmering the gravy until it reaches the desired consistency. Return the beef and vegetables to the gravy, check and adjust the seasoning and serve.