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Flemish Beef Stew

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Today’s recipe is Flemish Beef Stew (or Carbonnade à la Flammande). This wonderful dish gets great flavor courtesy of caramelized onions and beer. It’s sweet and sour at its best and made perfect with boiled carrots and potatoes. The recipe’s author suggests you pair this dish with a Cabernet Sauvignon. Healthy and joyous eating!

Flemish Beef Stew (Recipe courtesy Jacque Pépin)

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 pounds beef flatiron or blade steaks, cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices, about 3 inches wide
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cups thickly sliced onions
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Three 12-ounce cans beer (any dark Belgian-style ale will do)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Chopped parsley, for garnish
  • Boiled carrots and potatoes, for serving

Preparation:

In an enameled cast-iron casserole, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Season the beef with salt and pepper and add one-third of it to the casserole. Cook over moderate heat until lightly browned, 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with 2 more batches of meat, using the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.

Add the onions to the casserole, cover and cook over low heat, stirring, until browned, 8 minutes. Stir in the flour until the onions are well-coated, then slowly add the beer. Return the meat to the casserole along with any accumulated juices. Add the thyme and bay leaves, cover and simmer over low heat, stirring, until the beef is tender, 2 hours.

Uncover and transfer the meat to a bowl. Simmer the sauce over moderate heat until thickened slightly. Discard the bay leaves. Return the meat to the casserole and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with boiled carrots and potatoes. Make ahead: The stew can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Reheat gently. Makes 8 servings.

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