DeDe's Carbonnades a la Flamande (beef and onions braised in beer)
Makes 6 servings
3 pounds lean beef from either chuck or rump roast
Salt, freshly ground white pepper and cayenne to taste
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 cups thinly sliced onions
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup warm beef broth
2 to 3 cups beer
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Cut the beef into large cubes and season with salt, black pepper and cayenne.
Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet on medium-high heat. Add the beef, a few pieces
at a time, and brown evenly. Transfer the beef, as it cooks, to a platter.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the onions. Cook, stirring, until soft and golden,
about 10 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the mashed garlic.
Arrange half the browned beef in a large pot or Dutch oven and lightly season with salt,
black pepper and cayenne. Spread half the onions over the beef. Repeat the process with
the remaining beef and onions.
Pour in the beef broth. Add enough beer to just cover the mixture. Add the brown sugar,
bay leaves and thyme. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil on top of the stove. Cover and
transfer the pot to the lower third of the oven. Braise until the meat is fork-tender,
about 2 1/2 hours.
Remove from the oven and drain the cooking liquid into a saucepan and skim off the fat.
Whisk in the cornstarch and red wine mixture and simmer until slightly thickened, 3 to 4
minutes. Adjust seasonings. Pour the sauce back over the meat and serve with parsley potatoes
and French bread.
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