“Beauty lies in the hands of the beer holder.” – Anonymous
This Flemish dish is a sweet and sour stew flavored with beer. Belgium has an estimate of 450 varieties of this famous drink. For this recipe, choose one that is rich, dark and slightly bitter. You can try Trappist or Abbey beers. If you prefer a stronger taste, use Kwak. Do not be fooled by the name, because one bottle contains 8.4% of alcohol. This is twice the amount found in regular beers.
3 1/2 pounds boneless beef, cut into 1-inch pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 medium yellow onions sliced about 1/4 inch thick (about 8 cups)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 (12 oz bottle) Belgian beer
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon brown sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
Dry the beef with paper towels and season it with salt and pepper.
In a Dutch oven or deep pot, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in low heat. Make sure that it does not get burned. In batches, fry the beef in butter for 5-8 minutes or until it is lightly browned. Transfer the beef to a bowl and set aside.
Melt the remaining butter in the Dutch oven and add the onions. Sprinkle with salt and flour. Stir-fry for 3-5 minutes or until the onions are evenly coated with flour and lightly browned. Pour in 1 bottle of beer and let it boil until you can scrape the bottom of the pan and remove the loose bits. Add the beef, thyme, bay leaves and the remaining bottle of beer.Â Cover partially and cook in medium- low fire for 1-2 hours or until the beef is tender. Stir occasionally and deglaze the bottom of the pan to avoid burning. If you are in a hurry, you can cook it in the oven for 30 minutes at 300F.
Once the meat is tender, add the mustard and sugar. Mix well and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Adjust the taste by adding salt and pepper if needed. Serve warm with desired side (fries, noodles, bread).
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