Flemish Beef Stew
Flanders, a region in the southwestern part of the Low Countries (now divided between Belgium, France, and the Netherlands), has long been known for its fine beers. Cooking with beer is also a tradition there, and this stew, beef braised with thick slices of onion in Flemish-style dark beer, is an outstanding example. Serve it with a slice of hearty bread to soak up the flavorful, savory juices.
4 pounds lean beef, cut into 1/2-inch slices (sirloin or chuck roast)
2 pounds large onions, thickly sliced
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil
6 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons Glace de Viande Gold® dissolved in 2 1/4 cups hot water
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup chopped parsley
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
1 tablespoon salt, plus additional as needed
1 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus additional as needed
2 12-ounce bottles dark beer
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Cut the beef slices into 1-by-2-inch pieces and dredge them in flour. Warm the oil over medium heat in a Dutch oven or large stew pot. Add the beef and sauté until it’s browned on all sides. Remove the beef from the pot and set aside.
Add the onion slices to the hot oil in pot and cook until they are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Remove the onions and garlic from the pot and set aside.
Drain any remaining oil from the pot, and pour in the diluted Glace de Viande Gold®. Return the beef and the onions and garlic to the pot, and add remaining ingredients, stirring to combine. Cover the pot, transfer it to the oven, and bake for 2 hours, until the beef is very tender.
Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. (For thicker stew, stir in a tablespoon of cornstarch blended with beer or beef broth and simmer mixture for 3-5 minutes.)
Wine Pairing: If you're not a beer drinker, try a red Cotes du Rhone or a Shiraz with this dish.