Saturday, February 26, 2011

Carbonade Flamade with beer

This time I'm not going to write about beer... well not only about beer.You see, I celebrated my thirtieth birthday a week ago and my fiancée made some Carbonade Flamande (Flemish Stew) as a meal. This is a recipe that I had in one of my beer books (actually the very first one of them, received as a gift on my 24 th or 25 th birthday from Mr. J-M, so thanks again!). Since then I've really wanted to test this recipe and now after 5 years we've gone around a full circle and had a go with it! The idea simple: to have a stew that is rich in flavor and substantial and all this cooked with beer. Perfect!

I've tried few different dishes with beer in them and start to think that it's widely underestimated ingredient in our kitchen! On the other hand it feels a bit like wasting beer but on the expense of gastronomic experience it's acceptable. In the future I'm going to be using more and more beer in my cooking. Lately there has been a lot of different kinds of articles about food with beer in it.

So the recipe is as follows:

(6 portions)

about 750 g of boneless stew meat or roast beef
100 g of bacon
4 onions cut into rings
1 ground clove of garlic
3 tablespoons of flour
1/4 l of water
1/2 l of lambic/stout/Flemish brown ale (this counts on the taste so you have 3 different variations!)
1 bay-leaf
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons of salt
1/2 teaspoon of thyme
1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of red vinegar
some parsley

And here's how it's done:
Slice the meat to about 5 cm long slices. Fry up the bacon in small pieces until it's crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and pour the dripping to a cup. Glow the onion and the garlic on the pan in 2 tablespoons of dripping until they're soft (aprox 10 minutes) and put them aside. Use the rest of the bacon dripping to fry the meat for about 15 minutes. Drip the flour on the meat and pour in the water slowly. Add the garlic and the onions, beer (btw. we used Aldaris Porteris Stout from Lithuania and it gave a really nice taste), bay-leaf, brown sugar, mustard, salt, thyme and the pepper. If needed, add water until the meat is fully covered in fluids. Warm up until it boils and then reduce the heat. Stew for about 1-1,5 hours until the meat is cooked and tender. We put the stew to oven in a pot. Take out the bay-leaf and mix in the red vinegar. Add the bacon and parsley on top. Ass a side dish you can have pasta, fries, or as we had stuffed tomatoes, rice and broccoli.

Serve with brown ale, old ale, pale ale or porter. We had Ridgeway IPA and for test reasons only also a Oatmeal stout from one of my favorite breweries, Samuel Smith (if you haven't tried their imperial stout and Taddy porter, I only say that you should). Both went really well with the stew although they weren't exactly on the serving proposal. The notes will follow later.

I want to say big thanks to Laura for preparing this great meal as I wasn't able to get it done myself in five years! ;) Thanks also to the people taking part eating this delicious stew.

In the near future you can expect something as rare and exceptional as the following on this blog... just hit me, J-M: you are again responsible for this! you seem to be involved in quite many of my beer experiences... well, I can only thank you for that, so thnx mate!


  1. Hi.
    This stew sounds like delicious.
    Lucky guys who tried it (without wasting their own beer :)).
    I may be interested to reproduce it at some point. Just I will have to come back to you for some clarifications.
    PS: Nice (readable) font ;)

  2. Thanks Adi! Good thing that this doesn't cause headache anymore! ;) And I really suggest you try this one!