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Carbonnades a la Flamande

    2 pounds beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
    2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
   1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    2 tablespoons canola oil
    2 tablespoons butter
    4 cups sliced onions (4 medium)
    1 clove garlic, crushed and chopped
    1 tablespoon brown sugar
    2 teaspoons dried parsley
    1 bay leaf
    1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
    1 (12 oz.) bottle dark beer
    1/4 cup - 1 cup beef stock
    1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

  In a large bowl, toss together the beef, flour, salt, and pepper.
 In a large saucepan over high heat, brown the beef in the canola oil
 and butter. Carefully watch the beef to make sure it doesn’t burn,
 but give it enough time to develop a nice, rich brown color - the
 caramelized sugars will greatly enhance the stew’s flavor.

  Add the onions and herbs to the beef and stir thoroughly. The
 onions will pick up a bit of the browned bits in the bottom of the
 pan. Stir in the beer and add enough beef stock to cover the beef
 in the pan. Cover the stew, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for
 1 1/2 hours, until the beef is tender. Remove from the heat and stir
 in the apple cider vinegar. Serve hot with boiled potatoes.