Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Beef Carbonade Flemmish Style

Carbonade means cooked over a coal fire. We replicate the coal fire effect with good smokey bacon. Flemmish Style has to do with the ingredient that makes this super yummy---beer!

What You Will Need:
5 qt. Dutch oven or oven safe pot

2 lbs. of chuck steak, cut into 2" cubes
1 large Spanish onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bouquet garni, AKA 1-2 sprigs or rosemary, thyme, parsley stems, and bay leaf tied together with string (for easy removal)
1/4 lb. of slab bacon, cut into 1/4" cubes (I guess the stuff in the plastic packages work...but the slabs from the butcher is so much better!)
2 large carrots, chopped into large chunks
2 large portabella mushrooms, chopped into large chunks (we used a small pack of white button mushrooms, but we weren't fully satisfied with the flavor)
1 pint of dark beer (we used Boddington's)
1 cup of all purpose flour
1/4 cup of olive oil (use 2 tbsp. of butter instead if you want to be really French)
parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Dry the beef (at room temperature) with paper towels. Meat will not brown unless it is dry. Season it liberally with salt and pepper. Toss meat in the flour until it is lightly coated. Shake off the excess. Heat the olive oil in the Dutch oven until it just starts to smoke. Put the beef into the Dutch oven in batches and brown on all sides. Once brown, lift out the meat and set aside. Continue until all beef is brown. Once all the beef is out of the Dutch oven, drop in the bacon chunks. Cook them for 4-5 minutes, until they released most of their fat. Remove and set aside. Toss in the onions and garlic. Season with salt and cook on low heat. Once the onions have just started to brown add the bouquet garni to the pot. Add in the beef and bacon. Slowly pour the beer into the pot. Cover pot with the lid and put into a 300F oven for exactly 2 hours. After 2 hours, remove from oven and take the lid off. Stir in the carrots and mushrooms. Return to the oven (with lid off) for 1 more hour. Once the hour is up, it's done! Garnish with some chopped parsley. It should taste delicious. If the gravy is too watery (like a soup) you may want to boil on the stovetop until the mixture thickens a bit.

We paired our beef with some homemade mashed potatoes and sauteed asparagus.

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