Carbonnades a là flamande / Stoofvlees
500g of tough chopped stew beef
3 big sweet onions
6 big carrots
2 bottles of geuze or chimay bleu
beef stock cubes
200g of spekuloos
Cut carrots and onions, put widest pan you have on the fire with plenty of butter.
Put a big pot on medium fire, add butter, add carrots and onions.
When the butter in the pan starts clearing, add the beef piecemeal.
Stir stewing onions and carrots and allow to brown.
Allow beef to get dark brown before turning over.
Once beef if evenly browned toss it in the pot. Rinse the pan with bottles of beer, adding the result to the pot.
Add water to cover the beef and vegetables and one or two cubes of stock.
Cover and keep boiling on a low fire until the meat starts falling apart. This can be anything from four to six hours!
Turn of the fire and add spekuloos to taste
The browning of the meat is obviously a maillard reaction- but so is the browning of the wort used to make the beer! Of course the fermentation adds a plethora of taste, too. And then there's the spekuloos with it's brown sugar taste. Rather than melasse, this brown sugar is made from beets- by adding invertsugar and caramel to the white beet sugar. So besides the caramelisation of the onion, carrot and beer wort there's caramelised sugar added. On the whole this gives an enormously rich taste.