During our video series, St. Stefanus; A Journey of Discovery of the Speciality Beer Scene, our Master Brewer met with Daniel Pommier, the owner of two Parisian beer pubs. Daniel is a big fan of the Belgian dish, Carbonnade as it the perfect accompaniment to speciality beer.
But what is it? Carbonnade à la Flamande (or in Flemish, Stoverij) is a traditional European dish with a long, rich history. Essentially the dish is a beef stew made with a dark beer – taking its flavour from the depth of the beer.
The success of this dish over the course of time may be due to its basic ingredients, which would have been easy to source. Meat, onions and beer make up the bulk of the dish – all of which have been readily available in Belgium for centuries.
What was once a plain rustic peasant dish, is still a firm favourite among Belgians (and everyone else!) to this day. The simple ingredients come together beautifully; the beef and onions are simmered in beer until tender, the onions sweeten and the beer eventually boils down to a rich, dark gravy. Despite its simplicity the outcome is a warming, wholesome, delicious dish suitable for all occasions.
Why not try it for yourself? Take a look at the recipe below and pair the stew with accompaniments like potatoes, frites, and bread and, of course, a St. Stefanus beer.
Carbonnade - Beef Stew with Dark Beer
1kg stewing beef
1 clove of garlic
1 stick of celery
1 dark beer
400g canned tomatoes
250ml broth of beef
2cl olive oil
Pepper and salt to taste
1. Spice the meat with salt and pepper.
2. Heat 1tbs of olive oil in a big pan with a thick bottom.
3. Sear the meat in the hot oil. Remove from pan.
4. Chop the garlic, onion, celery and carrot. Heat another tbs of oil in the pan. Fry the onion, celery, carrot and garlic until they become glazed.
5. Pour the beer over the mixed vegetables. Add the meat, then the tomatoes and the broth of beef. Turn the stove down to a low temperature, cover and let the mixture stew for an hour.
6. Remove the lid from the pan and let the meat stew for another half hour.
7. Chop some oregano and add to the stew as you wish. Flavour with pepper and salt to taste.
Recipe courtesy of the Van Steenberge Brewery
Let us know if you’ve given this recipe a try, or if you make your own variant of this classic dish.