Flemish carbonnade or Flemish stew is a dish from Belgium consisting of pieces of meat stewed in a beer sauce.
The word "carbonnade" comes from the word "charcoal" because this dish was stewed for a long time on charcoal embers. In Dutch we speak of stoofvlees.
It is often accompanied with potato fries, boiled potatoes or stoemp (mashed potatoes and root vegetables).
It is widely available in restaurants and snack bars in Belgium, Holland and became a classic bistro dish in Northern France.
It’s a dish you can serve the whole year trough!
We don’t use much spices in this dish because the spice bread is already packed with Flavours!
Ingredients for 6 persons
2kg beef (cheap cuts), 500gr salted bacon (belly), 200gr pork rind (optional), 5 big onions, 1 litre brown or amber beer, 1 litre veal stock, 7 to 8 slices French spice bread, 6 tbsp mustard, 30gr butter, 1 bunch of thyme, 5 long black peppercorns, 6 to 8 cloves, 4 to5 bay leaves, 2 ½ tbsp beet sugar or brown sugar, 3 to 4 tbsp vinegar, Salt to adjust
Side dish: Flemish chunky fresh fries, salad greens and sliced tomatoes.
Cut the bacon and meat in nice chunks, I prefer big chunks but you can go smaller if you like.
Sear the bacon in a dry frying pan, use the fat to fry the beef; both golden brown.
Slice the onions grossly, add the butter in the frying pan and sear golden brown: deglaze with the vinegar.
Cover the bottom of the cooking pot with the pork rind: the rind releases jelly that gives a smooth texture to the stew (optional).
Add the herbs and spices, and then add the onions, bacon and beef (mixed together).
Add the sugar and poor the beer, the veal stock on top so the meat is covered.
Coat the spice bread with mustard on one side and place on top of the stew (they are going to meld slowly in to the stew when simmering)
Put the lid on the cooking pot and let simmer low & slow for 2 ½ hours
Check out once and a while if the stew does not become too dry: add some water or beer if needed.
This stew goes very well with potato fries but you can serve it with any side dish you like
Let the stew rest 15 minutes before serving, and all there’s left to say: Bon Appetite and see you soon!