If you live in Melbourne then you know how HOT the summer has been, and autumn for that matter. So when the weather finally started to turn a little chilly it means a few things.
- The joy of after work bike rides is pretty much over.
- The spring classics are on.
- Hunks of meat cooked for days are BACK IN!
If you love cycling, the last few months have been filled with sleepless nights watching pro cyclists smash it out in races such as Paris-Roubaix, Milan – San Remo, and Amstel Gold. These are great races to watch given their length and intensity. PLUS cobbles! Also Milan – San Remo was amazing this year on account of the weather.
Given that Belgium features in a number of races, and they make great beer i thought to coincide with the first real cold weather of the year it would be appropriate to make carbonade flamande. A belgian dish with a few basic principles: Meat, Beer and Time.
Here’s what you need.
2kg chuck steak (or any braising beef)
3 large brown onions diced
1 kg mushrooms (not traditional but they is good)
6 bay leaves
Large bunch of fresh thyme
50g plain flour
tbsp dijon mustard
2L beer (go nuts, belgian, amber, pale, red ale…. something like that with an ample amount of bitterness).
1. In a large pan, add a little oil and brown the meat.
2. Add the onions, flour and mushrooms and give it some more colour.
3. Add the beer, bay leaves, mustard and thyme.
4. Simmer for at least 3 hours. Add more beer or water if it needs it along the way. The meat should be falling apart now and the onions and mushrooms almost dissolved into a rich sauce. Once it’s cooked season with salt and pepper to your liking.
5. Serve with either french fries or mash. I went with mash, blanched savoy cabbage and carrots.
6. OH, and serve with some good beer. I went with Trappe Tripel. Thanks to the gang at Black Hearts and Sparrow (St Kilda) for the suggestion.