Carbonnades À La Flamande
(Beef and Onions Braised in Beer)
Recipe from Mastering The Art Of French Cooking by Julia Child
I was a little scared to make this recipe for two reasons. First, although the recipe itself seemed very straight forward, I was worried because I do not have a flameproof casserole dish which is what the recipe calls for. The only thing I had was a Pyrex covered casserole. Second, I have never used onions as my sole vegetable component. How was my family going to respond to this surprise? Then there was the prep and cooking time, over 3 hours start to finish. Fingers and toes crossed we wouldn't be eating at 9pm...lol As Tim Gunn would say..."make it work", and I did.
The dinner was spectacular! Served with creamy buttery mashed potatoes the meat was so tender. Both the meat and the sauce was full of flavor from the Pilsner Urquell beer I used for the braise. A red wine vinegar/corn starch mixture was added to the poured off liquid after cooking and then reintroduced to the meat after it had simmered and slightly thickened. It was not only very aromatic but combined so well with the sweet from the cooked down beer, onions and brown sugar.
My hubby was a little floored by the dish. He even appreciated the onions. The girls loved the meat and potatoes but not so much the onions. I think the super soft texture confused them. Hubby said this was a dish he not only wanted again, but that would be good for Thanksgiving. Well I am not to sure about that, but I was pleased to see he went back for a second helping.