But one good thing about winter (apart from skiing, and snow recovering magically everything around you in a fairy atmosphere, and christmas markets and hot wine, and fondue and tartiflette, etc...) is a good comforting stew.
And one of my favorite is the Flemish carbonnade, a typical Belgium dish made with beer.
Try out this recipe, approved by everyone who tasted it. And I promise it will make you love winter!
1,5 kilos beef, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
5 cups sliced onions (4 medium)
1 clove garlic, crushed and chopped
2 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons parsley
5 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
½ liter dark beer
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 cups beef stock
3 slices of bread
In a large saucepan over high heat, brown the beef in the butter with pepper, salt and cider vinegar. Carefully watch the beef to make sure it doesn’t burn, but give it enough time to develop a nice, rich brown .
Add the onions and 1/2 teaspoon of salt; cook until onions are browned, about 15 minute. Stir in beer, thyme, bay, garlic, brown sugar, and herbs to the beef and stir thoroughly. The onions will pick up a bit of the browned bits in the bottom of the pan. Stir in the beer and add enough beef stock to cover the beef in the pan. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a full simmer to let the alocohol evaporate, for about 20 minutes.
Toast 3 slices of bread (or ginger bread) and spread them with mustard. Cover the stew with those toasts, the side with mustard in contact with the stew. Reduce heat to low, partially cover, let cook for 2-3 hours until beef is fork tender. Stir occasionally, scraping up anything that is sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Serve with French Fries, baked potatoes, rice or even pastas. A lighter alternative is to serve with broccolis or endives.