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Arey

Carbonnade de Boeuf Flamande

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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.

Interesting. I generally stir a spoonful of mustard into the sauce before serving, and have been known to toss in a bit of molasses if the beer I've used isn't sufficiently flavorful. Same sorts of flavors as your suggestion.

As a side note, I've lately been using short ribs instead of chuck, for a delicious, if not authentic, variation.

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I used to make a cassoulet with a rich brown ale I brewed, and a mustard-herb-breadcrumb crust. Never tried the gingerbread but know, hearing it, it would be wonderful. Thanks.

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 bet it would be really tasty to use a gingerbread like Aachener printen. It's hard, like a biscotti, and usually has to be softened before it can be eaten.

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uk-friendly version? i certainly can buy belgian beer (and pain d'epice too, w/some hunting), but any thoughts on english ales--perhaps an ipa?--and the use of garden-variety gingersnaps?


Shira

Paris

lespetitpois.blogspot.com

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Gingersnaps sounds interesting, but it also sounds more like sauerbraten.

The bacon and vinegar are good suggestions. To that, I'd add a touch of nutmeg.

I don't know the UK beers well enough, but in the States I second (and third) Ommergang; I've used it regularly in my carbonnade and love it.


Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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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?

Cook's Illustrated published a recipe a couple of years ago--similar to yours but with about 3 times the onions. They also used Chimay ale as I recall---great version of a great dish.


Cooking is chemistry, baking is alchemy.

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Chimay Gold, It's on my regular rotation

Cook's Illustrated published a recipe a couple of years ago--similar to yours  but with about 3 times the onions.  They also used Chimay ale as I recall---great version of a great dish.

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I also think carbonnade is better than bouguinone. Here's a good recipe on the web from a Belgian source.

Carbonnade de Flemmande

The difference between this (and other Belgian) recipes and the Joy of Cooking recipe is that the Belgians add thyme, lots more onion---always deeply carmelized---no garlic, and currant jelly instead of sugar. I've also seen recipes for mustard and pain d'epice (which I guess is close to gingerbread).

I carmelize the onions in butter for a long time and then take them out before I brown the beef. I always use a dark ale or porter.


He who distinguishes the true savor of his food can never be a glutton; he who does not cannot be otherwise. --- Henry David Thoreau

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any thoughts on prunes--quantity/when to put in/flavour benefit--in carbonnade?

i've found a cooks illustrated recipe that i feel good about (i'll add bacon and a bit of mustard to it), but i don't have one that calls for prunes (no julia child to hand).

thanks


Shira

Paris

lespetitpois.blogspot.com

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any thoughts on prunes--quantity/when to put in/flavour benefit--in carbonnade?

i've found a cooks illustrated recipe that i feel good about (i'll add bacon and a bit of mustard to it), but i don't have one that calls for prunes (no julia child to hand).

thanks

Prunes with pork is a common Belgian combination, but with beef? And never in carbonnade.


He who distinguishes the true savor of his food can never be a glutton; he who does not cannot be otherwise. --- Henry David Thoreau

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So what makes it a "carbonnade"? The specific addition of a beer? I just made my old standby beef carbonnade, using a Joan S. Harlowe recipe (from The Loaf and Ladle Cookbook) and she insists it must be stout, preferably Guiness. The sauce is finished with molasses and vinegar. Other cookbooks I consulted called for lighter beers. Now in this thread I see assertions for dark Belgian beer or ale - which makes sense, given that it's a Belgian dish. I've never come across the gingerbread recommendation before. I see a world of exploration ahead of me.

By the way, I used the Harlowe recipe to beat an old moose roast in to submission. (That is, the roast was fresh but the moose was old and full of gristle.) The final result is wonderfully tender and flavorful. I cubed the roast, making sure to remove as much of the gristly bits as I could, and then used the Southwest France technique of making the stew, letting it cool, reheating the next night, and again the night after that. My husband had been pushing to grind all the meat into burger until this dish; now he's seen the light.

Back to my question: to what does the title actually refer?


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I was under the impression that 'carbonade' orignally referred to the cooking method with coals being under and laid on top of the cooking pot (much like a dutch oven).

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I have reasearched Carbonade extensively and compared many reciepies. The one I have found the most complete was from a site in french (if you can read french this site is a wonderfull source of recipes and techniques : Chef Simon

Here is a quick translation of the reciepie :

2 kg chuck meat in stipes of aprox 2X4X5 cm-

500 g of salted porc belly in lage stripes

4 minced oignons

4 carotte in mirepoix (facultative)

5 crushed garlic cloves

one bouquet garni

8 slices of "pain d'épice" or ordinairy bread

On tablespoon flour

On litre Veal stock

On tablespoon of "chicorée" extracts

750 ml dark belgian beer

50 g brown sugar

100 ml wine vinegar

50 g de mustard .

salt - pepper

The recipie is like this :

- Brown meat, remove from pot

- Brown pork belly, remove from pot

- Cook onions on medium high heat until coloration

- Add brown sugar (or Vergoise if you can get it) and wait until you can smell odours of caramel

- Deglaze with wine veneger

- Put the meat, onions and bread (or ginger bread) with mustard in stages

- Add stock, beer and every thing else, bring to a boil

- Put in the oven at 350 farheneit for at least 3 h

In the end the texture of the sauce will depend of many factors. You want a think brown gravy. If you dont have this, remove every solid part from the pot and reduce the liquid until proper consitency.

Some people call for ginger bread, others for ordianiry bread. The bread is there for flavour but also for the Liaison. The author of the reciepie says that ordinairy bread tastes better.

I used a dark abaye style beer that we have here in Quebec called "Maudite", if you can get it, it is a very good substitution to Belgian beer, it is also less expansive here.

I made this reciepy and served it to a belgian friend, he said it tasted just like home.

Serve it with fries or braised red cabage.

Good luck!

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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.

Just bought a case of Goudenband.... Wow!!! over $90. Most expensive meal I've cooked in a while.

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Wow, gotta say thanks guys. Never had this, and... well, I never really tried recipes that included beer. Don't know why, but for sure, it's my loss. I basically followed the "Cooks Illustrated" recipe with a couple twists. Made Betty Crocker's instant gingerbread and smeared it with whole grained mustard. It was simply wonderful. You can see the exact recipe and a few (not focused well) pictures HERE .

I made some sauerkraut rye (no knead method) to go with it. You can find that recipe and pics HERE.

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Just cooked this last night. I used a Stout (from Marin Brewin Co. - not a brewery I have any allegiance to but the only decent dark beer available at the crappy little supermarket I was shopping at). The beer had classic Imperial Stout flavors: super rich and deep, the type of beer people frequently compare to chocolate or coffee. I think I didn't consider how bitter the taste was - it was necessary in the beer to counter the richness of the flavor but also less noticeable than in, say, a Pilsener. Also, it was almost totally black.

I browned 2 pounds of cubed beef and then lightly caramalized at least 2 cups of onions. Then in went the beer. I had enough beer to cover the braise, so I didn't add any stock or water to the pot.

I was struck by one thing in particular: during the cooking process (for at least 90 minutes) the sauce was disgusting, mostly from the bitterness of the beer. I expected this flavor to concentrate as the sauce reduced and so was about to call for a pizza, but I decided to spoon a little of the broth off into a saucepan and see what it tasted like when it was reduced into a glossy, sticky consistency. And I found that the bitterness dissipated: not entirely (you could still tell that this was a beer braise), but enough that it made the big leap from horrible to delicious. Does anyone understand why this occured?

The end product was nice, not quite a knockout but totally satisfying. (I swirled in some mustard to finish). It was still somewhat bitter, and the chocolate/spicy/coffee of the beer, with a little depth from the sweet onions, was the dominant flavor.

Had I used Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, it would have been an entirely different dish. So now I'm wondering what it would taste like with a trappist Trippel style beer, or a cloudy yeasty wheat beer, or a fruity sweet barley wine? Because cooking with the stout had some surprises, I don't feel confident prediction the results. Has anyone played with different styles?

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It'll definitely depend on the type of stout. Most american stouts def. lean on the bitter side. I'd stick w/ a belgian dubbel or even an english brown. Something that is more malt accented.

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I was struck by one thing in particular:  during the cooking process (for at least 90 minutes) the sauce was disgusting, mostly from the bitterness of the beer.  I expected this flavor to concentrate as the sauce reduced and so was about to call for a pizza, but I decided to spoon a little of the broth off into a saucepan and see what it tasted like when it was reduced into a glossy, sticky consistency.  And I found that the bitterness dissipated:  not entirely (you could still tell that this was a beer braise), but enough that it made the big leap from horrible to delicious.  Does anyone understand why this occured?

I don't know if this has anything to do with your sauce, but one thing that affects bitterness is salt. If you added salt toward the end, it could have mitigated the bitterness quite a bit. (An interesting note is that the reason that salt can seem to enhance sweetness in things like vegetables and even baked goods is that in canceling out the bitterness, it makes the sugar stand out and things seem sweeter.)

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Excellent thread and very good discussion. Raised glass to you Paul.

I am so going to make this soon. I have some boneless short ribs in need of loving. I am going to use a Corsendonk, one of my favorite Belgian beers. Dark color, but not very hoppy. Chimay would be awesome with their cheese in a side dish.

As for other beers, I think the Belgian fruit beers could be used to great effect. The currant infused one would enhance beef I think. I can see how Newcastle brown with its brewers sugars would also be useful. I am not a fan of long cooking with hoppy beers. I think they lend a "pissy" off taste. It may just be me.

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Hi Pielle, I have a couple of specific questions regarding your recipe - hopefully no one minds me resurrecting this thread!

I'm curious about the chicory root extract mentioned in your version - would this be a liquid (which I have not been able to find), or the readily available powdered version?

I know that many beermakers use chicory root extract as a flavoring in their stouts, so I wonder if this is simply a tool for flavor correction (in the case of an overly sour beer, for example), or if it is indeed a part of a traditional carbonnade... I know the Belgians love their chicory root/endive... :)

I didn't see this extract mentioned in the French-language recipe you cited - is it an innovation that you came up with? If so, I want to hear all about it!

Thanks!


Mark Rinaldi

Food Blogger

http://cookedearth.wordpress.com

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When we went to Belgium two summers ago, I fell in love with this dish and ate it just about every chance I had. The best ones were made with either kriek or framboise - cherry or raspberry flavored lambics.

Lindeman's framboise is pretty easy to find in the states, the kriek a touch harder but I like it better.

I make mine in the slow cooker, the recipe is on my blog (see sig).

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I was struck by one thing in particular: during the cooking process (for at least 90 minutes) the sauce was disgusting, mostly from the bitterness of the beer. I expected this flavor to concentrate as the sauce reduced and so was about to call for a pizza, but I decided to spoon a little of the broth off into a saucepan and see what it tasted like when it was reduced into a glossy, sticky consistency. And I found that the bitterness dissipated: not entirely (you could still tell that this was a beer braise), but enough that it made the big leap from horrible to delicious. Does anyone understand why this occured?

The end product was nice, not quite a knockout but totally satisfying. (I swirled in some mustard to finish). It was still somewhat bitter, and the chocolate/spicy/coffee of the beer, with a little depth from the sweet onions, was the dominant flavor.

The Julia Child recipe in MTAOFC (which, since we've discussed onions, calls for 6 cups of sliced onions to 3 lbs of beef) adds 2 tbls light brown sugar to "mask the beer's slightly bitter quality" and a little vinegar at the end to "give character."

Excellent recipe, and I recommend it.


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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Hi guys,

For my first post on egullet, can I give you a tip of two that I had from a Michelin starred (now retired) chef from Brussels as to how to cook this. (I'm en English ex chef, now living in France.

First. The word "Carbonnade" relates to grilling and therefore the dish is best cooked with thick slices of meat such as would once have been grilled. I use flatiron (french paleron) steak, cut about 1cm thick or a tad more. Call it ½ an inch. (See Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Bertholle, Beck and Child for a description).

Second. The beer he used - and which I also use now, is Lambic Gueuze. I'll not insult you by telling you what it is, but the flavour profile which has some residual sugar from the unfermented malt, and is slightly sharp from the oxidation from the slow fermentation process all go to make the beer quite different from the very hoppy flavours of many dark beers (I have never tasted much hop in Lambic).

Thirdly, as others have said, the dish is best thickened with a kind of bread. Here we use "Pain d'Epices" which is often made with honey, rye flour and is quite spicy from sweet spices. Gingernuts have more ginger than most pain d'épices. For about 900g or so of meat, which is more than enough for 6 people as part of a 4 course dinner you would use three slices of this bread/cake each of which is liberally slathered with made french mustard.

Half the weight of sweet onions to meat. A large faggot of herbs and that's it. Far fewer ingredients than many recipes, because one has no need to compensate for using the wrong ones.

I fry the beef in beef dripping, but other fats are fine. Then sweat/fry the sliced onions in the same pan until they've deglazed it and softened. Crushed garlic into the onions. Then layer up 3 layers of onion, 2 of beef, tucking the faggot onto the first layer and the bread onto the second.

Pour over enough Geuze to cover (the original recipe calls for stock as well, but as I buy my Gueuze by the litre bottle and think it's vile to drink, it all goes into the stew! So I don't need any more liquid. Lid on, into a slowish oven until it submits.

We eat this with baked potatoes and a green salad. Lovely stuff.

All the best

Ian


All the best

Ian (yes in France)

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Well, welcome Ian! And what a great first post. Thanks.

I absolutely love this dish, and am definitely going to use your tips the next time I prepare it.

Which I am now determined is going to be much sooner rather than later.

I'm only hopeful I can find the beer you suggest. If that turns out to be difficult, are there any substitutes you might recommend?


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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