A couple of days ago I made *THE* best beef stew; Flemish beef stew with beer. It's very easy to make (as long as you make a lot, because you can store it for later).
However, it requires one special ingrediënt: Trappist dubbel beer. You can use Westmalle or one of the other brands. It's worth it using a good one though, you really taste the difference. Regular ol' beer won't cut it. Luckily you can get this kind of beer in most fancy beer stores or even in general liquor stores nowadays.
1 kg stewing beef - bad quality is no problem, you just have to stew it longer. Just get the cheapest cut you can find.
small chunk of butter
3 garlic cloves
1 entire bottle of Trappist dubbel beer
a bit of stock (you can use powder/cube)
note: the following spices aren't all obligatory, just add whatever you have.
a couple of juniper berries
a couple of cloves
1-2 bay leafs
nutmeg (freshly grated would be awesome)
oil for frying the beef
flour to cover the beef
pepper (freshly ground would be swell)
- Cut the beef in chunks of about equal size.
- Cut the onions in strips, the pieces can be quite big because it's going to be stewed anyway.
- Sprinkle a good amount of salt and a bit of pepper, and mix very well with your hands
- Sprinkle some flour and toss the beef very well until it is evenly coated with flour, try not to mix it too much or the flour gets all sticky.
- Heat a good amount of vegetable oil in two pans (one of which will be your stewing pan) on max heat.
- Fry a small amount of beef at a time. That's why we use two pans, goes quicker. It has to be nicely golden brown, then immediately set the beef aside on a plate.
- Remove any leftover oil from the pan, add butter, then add the onions and some salt and fry them on medium heat (if you are very Jewish just fry it in the oil
). Don't clean the pan, we need the brown bits at the bottom !
- Mince the garlic in the mean time, then add it to the onions and stir until fragrant
- Add your spices. Note that nutmeg is only added at the last step, because otherwise it loses its flavour.
- Add half of your beer and try to scratch the brown bits off the bottom of the pan.
- Stir a bit, then add the beef and stir well
- Add the rest of your beer and add your stock
- Cover the pan and simmer it on very low for... a long time. If you have good beef, you could go about 2.5 hours, but it took me almost 4 hours (!) to get my cheap beef tender. Make sure the water level does not get too low, and try to stir every once in a while and scrape the bottom.
-Taste if your meat is very tender and if your sauce is nice and thick. Grate in some nutmeg and taste for final seasoning.
This is usually enjoyed with fries, but boiled potatoes are fine too.