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Flemish Carbonade

Catégorie : SavoryUncategorized

This dish is simply delicious. Especially when it is prepared the day before. Simple to prepare, just let it cook for a few hours (stirring anyway!) to obtain this wonderful carbonade. What I like about sauce dishes is that you can vary them endlessly. This one is no exception, as the beer used, the bread (gingerbread or classic) and the meat will make all the difference. I give you this recipe that works wonderfully. Carbonade is usually served with good beef fat fries, but if your diet forbids it, it will also be delicious with steamed potatoes.   I would like to warmly thank one of my colleagues, Céline, for sharing her recipe for “Flemish carbonade” with me and for accepting that I publish it here. His advice was invaluable to me!

Carbonade recipe for 4-5 people:

-1kg of boneless beef shank  
-1 tablespoon of oil
-2 onions
-30g of butter
-75cl of Belgian beer (the final taste depends greatly on the beer chosen!)
-1 teaspoon of blond (or brown!) vergeoise
-1 tablespoon of flour
-4 slices of gingerbread
-salt pepper

For this recipe, as the dish simmers for almost 4 hours, beef shank can be used.

Cut the meat into pieces, taking care to remove excess fat and hard pieces.

In a casserole dish, sauté the meat in a tablespoon of oil over moderate heat.

It is not necessary to cook the meat, just sear it and grill it a little.

Remove the meat from the casserole and let the butter melt. 

Add the sliced onions (it doesn’t matter if they are well cut or not, because you can hardly see them at the end!)

Let them sweat, stirring them from time to time, until they turn golden. Add the blond vergeoise at this point.

Add salt and pepper.

You can add a small glass of water to cook the onions well. 

When the water has evaporated, add the meat and its juice.

Add a tablespoon of flour to the meat and mix well. The amount of flour depends on the desired consistency. I like the sauce of this dish, not too liquid but creamy. So I put a heaping tablespoon (not huge either!).

Add the beer. I put 3 small beers of 25cl in it, so 75cl in total. The important thing is that the meat is covered with beer. In this version, I used blond “Leffe”.

Prepare the gingerbread. I usually make my own gingerbread, but for 4 slices, I must admit that a ready-made gingerbread helped me a lot! Simply spread mustard on the gingerbread slices.
For this recipe, you can also use classic bread (country) instead of gingerbread. But I must admit that I have a weakness for this version, as it adds flavor and a touch of extra sugar. 

Add the gingerbread to the casserole. 

After 3 minutes, the gingerbread will dissolve. 

Bring to a boil. Lower the temperature to almost minimum, to maintain a small boil. Close with the lid and let simmer 2h30 if you prepare the dish the day before, which I do because it takes more taste, (because there will be a second cooking) or 3h30-4h00 if you want to serve this dish the same day.

I just take the lid off during the last half hour, which will remove some of the water from the sauce and make it smoother. 
If the dish was cooked for 2h30 the day before: the next day, put it back on low heat for 1 hour (yes, it’s a little less, because the day before, the meat stayed a long time in the still burning juice!) 
In any case, always stir this dish every 20 or 30 minutes! 

This dish is traditionally served with fries cooked in beef fat! A pure wonder but not always light! This dish is also really delicious with good steamed potatoes! 

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