When Bryan set out on a 15 km hike with 440 m in elevation, I turned to my cookbooks in search of a hearty stew to reward my intrepid hero.
CARBONNADE DU NORD (Beef and Onions in Beer) turned out to be perfect!
The recipe is based on Richard Olney's in THE GOOD COOK, BEEF & VEAL, but the method is mine.
2 ½ pounds stewing beef, cut in chunks
2 pounds onions (4 medium onions: this is NOT too much)
1/3 to ½ cup lard (I used the fat from a ham roast; but the recipe also suggests 1/3 cup olive oil)
1 ¼ tsp salt
2 tsp brown sugar
3 tbsp flour
2 bottles of beer (341 ml each)
1 cup vegetable broth (from cooking any vegetable)
2 bay leaves
½ tsp each of dried thyme, oregano, savory, and marjoram
½ tsp pepper
· Thinly slice the onions.
· Measure brown sugar and set by the stove. (This saves dashing about later.)
· Measure flour and set by the stove.
· Put vegetable broth and beer by the stove.
· Set a whisk beside the stove.
· Cook onions in 3 tbsp fat in a large skillet over low heat until softened (5 to 7 minutes).
· Transfer onions to a bowl.
· Add 1 tbsp fat to skillet and turn heat up to fairly high. Add half the beef and brown it nicely (takes a minute or two). Transfer beef to a Dutch oven.
· Return half the onions to the skillet. Reduce heat. Stir to brown. Add these onions to the Dutch oven.
· Add some vegetable broth to the skillet to scrape up all the browned bits. Transfer this to the Dutch oven.
· Add another tbsp. fat to skillet. Turn heat up and brown the rest of the meat. Transfer it to the Dutch oven.
· Put the rest of the onions into the skillet. Reduce heat, stir, and brown. Transfer to the Dutch oven.
· Start oven preheating to 325.
· DO NOT ADD more LIQUID YET TO THE SKILLET!
· Put 2 tsp brown sugar into the very brown skillet. Stir for about a minute.
· Add the flour. Stir for about 2 minutes to brown the flour.
· Whisk in most of the remaining stock. Then add the beer, stirring all the time.
· Transfer this to the Dutch oven.
· Use the rest of the stock to scrape up remaining brown bits. Transfer.
· Set Dutch oven on hot element.
· Add salt, pepper, bay leaves and spices.
· Add more liquid if the beef is not fully covered.
· Cover and cook in oven for 2 and ½ hours.
YUM! So thick and such a rich, dark brown. Serve with mashed potatoes and another vegetable.
Bryan said the 10 viewpoints were spectacular.
The next day, he took 2 aspirins for his aching knee joints.