In typical Tink fashion, my oldest gal texted me to ask if we could have Chinese take out for dinner. I bet you’re all having a good laugh right now, just as I did. Yes, my children would much rather have Chinese take out than Mom’s dinner, unless of course it’s turkey and gravy or meatballs and pasta. I’d like to say they love Chinese take out because they don’t eat it that often, but we live in the Pacific Northwest where delicious Asian cuisine is abundant. Simply, the Bennett crew just loves Asian cuisine.
Sadly however, Tink would not get her wish, but instead be greeted at home with the delightful aromas of slow braised Beef Carbonnade. Beef Carbonnade is said to have originated in Belgium, but also prepared often in Northern France. This hearty stew is slowly cooked with sweet onions, garlic, fresh thyme and a pint of dark beer or ale. Some recipes call for a tablespoon of tomato paste or a can of diced tomatoes. Prepare it simply and it’s still as rich and gratifying as the more complex recipes.
My dish of Beef Carbonnade was a hit with the Bennett Crew. Thoughts of Chinese takeout were replaced with happy faces and sweet compliments to the Chef!
Keep dinner simple… Enjoy the flavors of life. Happy Cooking!
Serves 4 – 6
1 tablespoon butter
2 -3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
3 lbs Stew beef or chuck roast, cut into 2 – 3 inch cubes
2 large or 3 small yellow onions, sliced (I love Walla Walla Sweets with this recipe)
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 cups dark beer or ale
4 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon tomato paste (optional)
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley for garnish
Pre-heat the oven to 300F.
Season the meat with salt and pepper. Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven or oven proof stock pot and brown the meat in batches over medium high heat. Transfer meat to a bowl and set aside.
Add a tablespoon or two of olive oil to the pot and add the onions. Cook over medium heat for about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and brown sugar cooking for another few minutes. Stir in the flour and mix for a minute or two. If you are using a gas stove, turn the heat off and then stir in the beer. Turn the heat back on and continue stirring until the mixture has thickened a bit.
If using the tomato paste, add the paste and stir. Place the meat back into the pot or Dutch oven and then add the thyme and bay leaves. Make sure the meat is nicely tucked into the onion and beer mixture along with thyme and bay leaves.
Put the lid on the Dutch oven or stock pot and place in the oven for about 2 1/2 – 3 hours or until the meat is tender. When the meat is done, taste for salt and pepper. Place the beef on a large platter, ladle with sauce and sprinkle with chopped Italian parsley.
Serve with roasted baby potatoes, mashed potatoes, egg noodles or creamy polenta.