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Classic Belgian Beef Carbonnade

"Beer, bacon, onions and brown sugar flavour this thick beef stew from Flanders. It is a true rib-sticking dish to serve winter guests on a cold weekend night."
  • 6 portions braising steak
  • 1 bottle beer
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Fat for frying
  • 3 small red onions, sliced thinly
  • 2 rashers smoked fat streaky bacon, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 small celeriac, peeled and cubed
  • 1 leek, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 small raw beetroot, peeled and cubed
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) tomato puree
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) seasoned plain flour
  • 75 ml (1/3 cup) beef stock
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Place steaks in a dish and pour beer over; add peppercorns and bay leaf and marinate overnight.

Next day, fry onions, bacon and garlic in fat over medium heat for about 30 seconds, then add celeriac, leek and carrot and fry for another 2 minutes, stirring, until lightly browned.

Remove with a slotted spoon and place in bottom of a heavy casserole.

Take steak from marinade, pat dry with paper towels and quickly brown on all sides in the fat left in the pan to seal in the beer, then place on top of the vegetables; add beetroot and tomato puree.

Add a little more fat to pan, if necessary, heat and sprinkle in flour, stirring it in briskly and cooking for 1 to 2 minutes.

Pour in beef stock and bring slowly to simmering point until it thickens.

Remove from heat, stir in remaining marinade, pour over steak in casserole, add bouquet garni and cover. Place toward bottom of a 160 C (325 F) oven and cook for 3 hours or until meat is tender and gravy slightly thickened.

Taste and season if necessary (the beer adds a good deal of spiciness), remove bay leaf and bouquet garni and serve with mashed potatoes and a green vegetable such as brussels sprouts.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Leffe Blonde Belgian beer. Thanks to Fort Frances Times Online

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