One of my preferred meal during winter is the Carbonade flamande, a Belgian sweet-sour beef made with beef, onion and beer, and seasoned with thyme and laurel. My recipe is slightly different than the traditional one, as it includes smoked bacon, mustard and spiced bread (a kind of gingerbread without ginger). In addition to be tasty and invigorating, it is an easy to cook meal.
The carbonade is to be slowly cooked for at least 2 hours (in a clay cooking pot, a dedicated slow cooker or a simple pan) and is usually served with potatoes or french fries. Its name comes actually from the hot coals ('charbon' in french) on which it was traditionally left to cook.
Step 1: Ingredients
- 1kg (2.2lbs) beef
- 1l (34oz) of brown beer
- 250gr (0.6lbs) smoked bacon
- 6 spice bread slices (or more)
- 2 big onions
- Some herbs (thyme and laurel)
- Salt, pepper
Step 2: Recipe
Cut the beef into small bite-size pieces. Keep some fat on the pieces, it will melt during the cook. Slice the bacon, and cut the onions into big chunks.
Place the meat, onions, herbs, some pepper in the pot, and cover with beer.
Add the spice bread slices covered by mustard.
Cook it at least two hours; the bread will melt into the beer, and the sauce will thicken.
Stir it sometimes, taste and add some spice bread if you want it to be more sweet than sour; add some salt.
Once you are happy with the result, serve the carbonade hot with some potatoes or french fries.
You can keep it frozen; this meal seems being even better after being warmed...
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