This is my version of the best thing my Belgian war bride mom ever cooked for me! She learned to make it from her mother. It's delicious, comforting, and a constant reminder of her and her Belgian heritage. She was a member of the Belgian Underground, the French Resistance--and an amazing cook!
Carbonnade Flamande (Belgian Stew)
- 4 T. butter
- 1 large sliced yellow onion
- 2 lbs. lean beef sliced into 1" cubes or stew meat
- 2 tsp. brown sugar
- 3 T. flour
- 1 T. Dijon mustard
- 1 can or bottle of beer (dark is good, but use what you have)
- ¼ c. apple cider vinegar
- 2 beef bouillon cubes
- 2 tsp. herbes de provence, or your favorite (thyme, rosemary, etc.)
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. pepper
- slice of bread (optional)
- In Dutch oven or large skillet, melt the butter and brown the beef in small batches.. Remove to a bowl.
- Cook the onions in the meat drippings over medium heat until lightly browned and remove to the meat bowl.
- Stir the brown sugar and flour into the pan (add more butter to the Dutch oven/skillet if needed) and cook until light brown. Pour beer in slowly, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan.
- Add the vinegar, mustard, and beef bouillion cubes to the Dutch oven, on low heat, stirring until the cubes are dissolved.
- Add herbs, salt, and pepper, stirring well.
- Add beef and ovens back to the Dutch oven, or transfer all to an oven-safe casserole. Mix beef/onions and sauce well.
- At this point you can add a torn-up slice of bread--it was my grandmother's method to help thicken the sauce, but isn't necessary. Cover and bake at 300 degrees for 2-3 hours. Check after 2 hrs.-if the sauce has thickened to a gravy consistency, you can remove from the oven at this point.
- Stir well, and serve over boiled or mashed potatoes, or thick egg noodles.
This is a great dish to freeze in small portions to share with friends or thaw for additional meals! Your kitchen will smell amazing!