Carbonades Flamande (Flemish Beef Stew)

Carbonades Flamande is a favourite in Flemish regions of Belgium, made with their local dark abbey-style beers such as Leffe Brune or Brugse Zot Dubbel. Most will prefer to use onions in the recipe, but I used leek in mine to change it up a little bit as I have a family member who is intolerant to onion. It makes for a slightly different but welcome texture. As with all stews, it takes patience to cook, but is well worth it for the end result.

Ingredients

  • 750g diced beef
  • 200g diced bacon
  • 2tbsp plain flour
  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 2tbsp oil (Rapeseed oil is ideal)
  • 1 leek or onion, diced or roughly chopped
  • Salt & ground black pepper
  • 300ml beef stock
  • 1tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1tbsp tarragon, parsley & thyme
  • 4tsp beef gravy granules (optional)
  • 2tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 2x 33cl bottles of Belgian dark brown beer (Leffe Brune is ideal)

Preparation Time 30 minutes
Cooking Time 2 hours
Serves 4

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4
  2. Mix the flour, salt and pepper together in a bowl, then dip the diced beef into the mixture ensuring it is well coated
  3. Take a large ovenproof pan and melt the butter and oil together over a medium heat
  4. Add the beef and brown all round. It may be easier to split this into small batches. Removed the beef from the pan and set aside of the time being
  5. Add the leek/onion and the diced bacon to the pan and cook through until it starts to brown
  6. Add the beef back to the pan along with the herbs, beer and beef stock. Stir gently and scrape up anything stuck to the bottom of the pan
  7. Add the cider vinegar and sugar and stir gently.
  8. Put a lid on the pan and place in the oven to cook for approximately 1 hour 45 minutes.
  9. Check the consistency of the stew and if it is still a thin liquid, add approx 4tsp of beef gravy granules and stir. Return to the oven for another 15 minutes.
  10. Serve with roasted root vegetables & rustic bread
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