carbonnade flamande

beef cooked in beer...delicious!


Carbonnade Flamande, or beef carbonnade as it is sometimes called, is a delicious dish of beef steak cooked in beer which gives it a very tasty sauce or gravy. It is found in northern France as it came originally from Belgium and is one of the most appetising dishes you can make. Often cheaper cuts of beef are used but it is much better made with skirt and cut into good size pieces.

It is a warming and satisfying meal and of course lovely with a glass of beer to wash it down. It can be served with small boiled potatoes, but it works equally well with pasta or noodles.


INGREDIENTS

·      2½ lbs (1.3kg) beef steak, shin beef or thick skirt

·      2 tbsps olive oil

·      8 oz onions, roughly chopped

·      1 bouquet garni

·      Salt and pepper to taste

·      1 tbsp sugar

·      1 tbsp red wine vinegar

·      1 tbsp plain flour

·      1 tbsp butter

·      half a pint beer


METHOD

1.          Cut the beef into thick strips about 2ins long.

2.         Heat the oil or fat in a heavy  bottomed pan and seal the beef strips for a few minutes on each side.

3.         When all are sealed, place on a warm plate.

4.         Soften the onions in the pan for a few minutes without browning them.

5.         Put the meat back in the pan.

6.         Add the beer and, if needed, add some water to cover the meat.

7.         Season with salt and black pepper and add the bouquet garni.

8.         Cover with a lid and bring to boiling point; at this stage you can either reduce the heat and simmer for an hour on top of the cooker or place in a moderate oven for an hour until cooked.

9.         When the meat is cooked, remove and place in a warm dish.

To develop the sauce:

•        Heat the vinegar with the sugar in a small saucepan until it bubbles and forms a dark caramel.

•        Stir in two tablespoons of boiling water and then add this mixture to the pan, this gives it a good colour.



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