Carbonade Flamande (Flemish Stew)

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This typical recipe from Belgium comes together with my passion for Belgian beers.

The original recipe is usually made with beef, but since I had a nice venison (roe deer), I decided to try with that, and it was really good! Believe me! 😀

The choice of the beer is very important, I suggest to use a strong dark Trappist beer (Rochefort, Westmalle, Achel, Westvleteren, Chimay, La Trappe), or a similar one (St. Bernardus, for example), I can find them quite easily in Budapest, and if you go in a good beer store in your city, I’m sure you will find some.

These are the best choice in my opinion because they have a very complex aroma and flavor, and the dish will be much better (personally I used a Rochefort 10, which has 11,3% alcohol, and an amazing taste).

INGREDIENTS (4 people):

  • 800g of venison, the leg part is good
  • 1 onion
  • half celery rib
  • 1 carrot
  • 30g butter
  • 3/4 spoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 33cl / 0,5l dark trappist beer or similar (it has to cover the meat)
  • rosemary
  • 2/3 bay leaves
  • sage
  • 2 cloves
  • salt
  • 2/3 spoons of Dijon mustard
  • 2/3 slices of toast bread (originally they use the “pain d’épice“, a traditional quick bread with spices)
  1. First of all, cut the meat into pieces of about 3/4cm, and remove the biggest pieces of fat.
  2. Take a cocotte, add a spoon of oil and when it’s hot sear the meat at medium-high flame, on all the sides. Then, when the meat it’s well seared, take it out and set it in a dish aside.
  3. Now, drop the butter and melt it together with the oil in the same cocotte, and add the onion, the celery and the carrot cut into pieces (it doesn’t really matter the size, after 2/3 hours simmering they will be melted anyway). Also the sage. Then add a little bit of water and cook until they are soft. Add salt and pepper too.
  4. When the water is gone, add the meat and all its juices.
  5. Now it’s time to add the beer: it has to be enough to cover the meat.
  6. Add the cloves, the rosemary and the bay leaves.
  7. Take the slices of toast bread, spread the mustard on them and when all the sauce is boiling, drop them on the pot: they will melt in 5/10 minutes.
  8. Set the heat very low, and let it simmer for about 3 hours, or even better in the “old way”: you prepare the day before and cook it for about 2 hours, and then you cook it for another hour the day after 🙂 The important is that the heat must be very low, it has only to simmer slowly. (After about the first hour, remove the rosemary and the bay leaves).
  9. Serve with potatoes, fries, croquette, mash potato…what you prefer 🙂

Calories (average man): 45′ running / 55′ cycling / 1h30′ wood cutting 😀

Calories (average woman): 60′ running / 1h15′ cycling / 2h wood cutting 😀

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