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Carbonnade de Boeuf Flamande

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Now that Belgian beers are readily available I would like to know which is best for Carbonnade de Boeuf Flamande. The recipe I use is from an old edition of The Joy of Cooking.

Carbonnade de Bouef Flammande

Recipe By :Irma Rombauer

Serving Size : 4

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

-------- ------------ --------------------------------

2 pounds Boneless beef chuck -- cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes, and dredged in seasoned flour

2 tablespoons oil

1 medium Onion (1/4 cup) -- thinly sliced

1 clove Garlic -- crushed

1 cup Dark beer

1/2 teaspoon Sugar

Saute 1/4 cup thinly sliced onions in 1 tablespoon oil.

Push the onions aside, add more oil, if necessary and brown the beef. Drain off any excess fat.

Bring to a boil, the beer, garlic and sugar and pour over the beef and onions.

Cover and simmer for 2 to 2 and 1/2 hours

Strain the sauce before serving.(Optional - add 1/2 teaspoon vinegar to the sauce)

Source:

"The Joy of Cooking (1975 Edition page 418 - not in later editions)"

Yield:

"4 servings"

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Also I've always used a lot more onion than the recipe calls for. From what I've seen of recipes on the internet, this recipe isn't all that close to the real thing. Does anyone have a better recipe that brings it closer to the actual carbonnade, but doesn't go as as far as spreading stale pain d'epice with mustard and covering the top of the stew with it while it cooks?


"A fool", he said, "would have swallowed it". Samuel Johnson

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Does it really make a difference to the flavor of the carbonnade where the beer came from? While I hate doing it (because I would rather drink it that cook with it), I generally use Sierra Nevada Pale Ale for carbonnade. I think (I could be wrong and if I am I'm sure someone here will correct me) most Belgian beers are lagers or pilsners and you may be hard pressed to find a dark one.

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I've used a recipe from Saveur a few times with great success. I checked their website and it's not online but I can tell you that it is in the November 2003 issue (#62).

The ingredients are similar to the JoC version but how they're treated is not. The onions are carmelised over low heat for rather a long time. I think that is the key to the depth of flavour that results.

If you'd like the recipe and don't have that issue and/or want to save a trip to the library, send me a PM. I don't mind sharing it but I won't post it (copyright, you know).

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I think (I could be wrong and if I am I'm sure someone here will correct me) most Belgian beers are lagers or pilsners and you may be hard pressed to find a dark one.

Get thee to a bigger beer store! :raz:

I used a light Belgian ale the first time I made it and a dark Belgian abbey beer the second time (found at Whole Foods by the bottle). It makes a difference!

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Chimay Blue is widely available.


"A good dinner is of great importance to good talk. One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." Virginia Woolf

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Mnebergall, the Belgians do not make lagers or pilsners (a type of lager) generally (I can't think of a single brewery, actually). They make ales, meaning beer brewed with top-fermenting yeast. They also use wild yeasts and bacteria in their ferments.

To the point at hand. One reason Belgian ales are specified is due to the generally low level of hop bitterness in most Belgian ales. Many traditional Belgian brews use hops which have been stored for a length of time - aged - to reduce the level of bitterness: alpha acids (humulone, co-humulone, and ad-humulone) are the bittering component in hops; they are very volatile, and aging strongly reduces their presence in hops. Sierra Nevada, the quintessentially aggressively-hoppy, American Pale Ale, is hopped on orders more than just about any Belgian ale, even more so when you are talking Belgian dark ales (i.e., "Bruin"), which are generally less bitter still. Not that that is a bad thing - I love what hops can add to food. But not what I would think is a substitute for a recipe calling for Belgian ale.

Paul


-Paul

 

Remplis ton verre vuide; Vuide ton verre plein. Je ne puis suffrir dans ta main...un verre ni vuide ni plein. ~ Rabelais

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I guess I should get out more often. I was thinking of the Stella Artois I had at a sidewalk cafe in Brussels.

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Mnebergall, you're fine, I'm the loser; I stand corrected. Stella Artois is indeed a lager, and the largest "Belgian" brewery. I guess I put it out of my radar. My mind was on carbonnade, and what I prefer to go with it, and I spaced.

I must also admit my bias: to me, Stella Artois is to Belgian brewing what (sorry, fans) Budweiser is to American brewing. In my humble view, a non-distinct, characterless product, made by a behemoth (Interbrew, increasingly, the owner of the world's once-finest independent breweries). Apologies to all who may love it, I just see the once proud independent breweries going under to the "family" called Interbrew, and I don't like it. And with a country so populated by distinctive, smaller breweries (many of them in a 600 s.f. farmhouse or the like), I can't see using anything but craft Belgian ale in the food. My $0.02.

Under any circumstance, Cheers.

Paul


-Paul

 

Remplis ton verre vuide; Vuide ton verre plein. Je ne puis suffrir dans ta main...un verre ni vuide ni plein. ~ Rabelais

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I'm the loser for going all the way to Brussels and ordering the Belgian equivalent of Budweiser. Talk about hitting me below the belt. I'll know better next time. I would never think of using something like Stella Artois in a carbonnade. That's why I use Sierra Nevada. But, next time I go to make it, I will try to hunt up a Belgian ale to go with it (both cooking and eating).

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I use Sierra Nevada.

Like Jensen said, I think it is essential that the onions be very slooooowly caramelized to build the flavor base you want.

I also use some bacon fat, and vinegar.

I love love LOVE beef carbonnade. Even cold.


Noise is music. All else is food.

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I use Sierra Nevada.

Like Jensen said, I think it is essential that the onions be very slooooowly caramelized to build the flavor base you want.

I also use some bacon fat, and vinegar.

I love love LOVE beef carbonnade. Even cold.

And, it's really good with spaetzle.

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I would think the Porter would be great; as would Summit's Porter, or Bell's line of dark ales. I think that in addition to the lower bitterness, the roast notes from the roast barley and roast malt go well. I don't know about Sierra's Porter, but I know in my own brewing I am fond of using Northdown or Northern Brewer in my strong dark ales, as do many breweries I know of.

By my taste, these hops have a wonderful roast fruit (think: baked plums) character, which I like in my big dark ales (i.e., "Black Stag Imperial Stout," a winter warmer, at 9.6% alcohol). Hadn't occurred to me, but this fruit character would be great with the flamande.

Enjoying the discussion.

Paul


-Paul

 

Remplis ton verre vuide; Vuide ton verre plein. Je ne puis suffrir dans ta main...un verre ni vuide ni plein. ~ Rabelais

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As paul o'vendange said, I have also used Bell's, particularly the Kalamazoo Stout--for when I'm homesick. But hell, I've also used a few cans of Budweiser.

I too am enjoying this discussion. Almost enough to pop down to the store and buy some beef. Already got the beer and the big-ass Le Creuset.

What pot do you cook your carbonnade in? And what do you serve it with, to soak it up?


Noise is music. All else is food.

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What pot do you cook your carbonnade in? And what do you serve it with, to soak it up?

I use one of my Calphalon pans ... the 6-quart chef's skillet.

As for serving accompaniments, I've made it both with homemade noodles (not spaetzle, just egg noodles) and mashed potatoes.

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I've never had it with spaetzle or potatoes. Just egg noodles. :hmmm:


Noise is music. All else is food.

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It is really supposed to be a Flemish brown ale. To be authentic I would recommend Liefmans Goudenband. It isn't outrageously expensive and the slightly sour belgian yeast flavour really does come through.

The next best bet would be something from Brewery Ommegang - they do very reasonable impressions of Belgian beers from their brewery in Cooperstown NY, and they are fairly widely available (and comparatively cheap). I'd use either the Rare Vos or their Ommegang Abbey ale.

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Slightly off thread, but with Theakston on the Ommegang. Great company, great ale. I enjoy their Ommegang, which they list as a "burgundian" brew. Rich, off-red, wonderful. And, as Theakston says, cheap.

Paul


-Paul

 

Remplis ton verre vuide; Vuide ton verre plein. Je ne puis suffrir dans ta main...un verre ni vuide ni plein. ~ Rabelais

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To make a carbonade really authentic, you should spread mustard on gingerbread slices, lay on top of the stew and pop in the oven. The gingerbread disintegrates and thickens the stew and gives it a unique and authentic flavour.

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What pot do you cook your carbonnade in? And what do you serve it with, to soak it up?

I use my 5 qt covered Calphalon sauce pan and usually have it with noodles, and my home made pain de campagne.

Thanks for all the suggestions, now I have to go to the library and check out Saveur, and go off to the local discount store to check out ales.

I have both Blue and Red(Brown) Chimay in my cupboard, are they both usable?


"A fool", he said, "would have swallowed it". Samuel Johnson

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To make a carbonade really authentic, you should spread mustard on gingerbread slices, lay on top of the stew and pop in the oven. The gingerbread disintegrates and thickens the stew and gives it a unique and authentic flavour.

Wow. I've been making this dish for decades, cobbling together various recipes from a polyglot of sources -- everyone from such lofty gurus as Julia Child and Craig Claiborne down to the "home cookin' around the world" of military officer's wives' cookbooks -- but I've never heard that.

Sounds wonderful, and I can hardly wait to try it.

Carbonnade is one of my very favorite dishes. Like it so much better than boeuf bourguignon. Am excited to try it with the gingerbread.

I do spread gingersnaps on my Russian Stuffed Cabbage Rolls, and it gives them such a great flavor. I know this will be terrific, too.

Thanks!


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I think (I could be wrong and if I am I'm sure someone here will correct me) most Belgian beers are lagers or pilsners and you may be hard pressed to find a dark one.

And here I am!

There are many many dark Belgian beers, even a Cherry beer :biggrin:


Martial.2,500 Years ago:

If pale beans bubble for you in a red earthenware pot, you can often decline the dinners of sumptuous hosts.

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I think (I could be wrong and if I am I'm sure someone here will correct me) most Belgian beers are lagers or pilsners and you may be hard pressed to find a dark one.

And here I am!

There are many many dark Belgian beers, even a Cherry beer :biggrin:

Join the crowd. Now everyone knows I'm a numbskull.

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You will find that brewers and beer drinkers are generally a friendly lot. The only numbskull is the one who puts on airs - By its very nature, beer is a convivial drink, so sidle up to the bar (or farmhouse, or monastery, or what have you) and join for a tipple or two!

Paul


-Paul

 

Remplis ton verre vuide; Vuide ton verre plein. Je ne puis suffrir dans ta main...un verre ni vuide ni plein. ~ Rabelais

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