Carbonnade a la Flamande
Belgian Beef, Beer, and Onion Stew
- 3 1/2 pounds blade steaks, 1 inch thick, trimmed of gristle and fat and cut into 1-inch pieces
- Table salt and ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 pounds yellow onions (about 3 medium), halved and sliced about 1/4 inch thick (about 8 cups)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 3/4 cup low-sodium beef broth
- 1 1/2 cups beer (12-ounce bottle or can)
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme, tied with kitchen twine
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 300 degrees.
- Dry beef thoroughly with paper towels, then season generously with salt and pepper.
- Heat 2 teaspoons oil in large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat until beginning to smoke; add about one-third of beef to pot.
- Cook without moving pieces until well browned, 2 to 3 minutes; using tongs, turn each piece and continue cooking until second side is well browned, about 5 minutes longer.
- Transfer browned beef to medium bowl.
- Repeat with additional 2 teaspoons oil and half of remaining beef. (If drippings in bottom of pot are very dark, add about 1/2 cup of above-listed chicken or beef broth and scrape pan bottom with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits; pour liquid into bowl with browned beef, then proceed.) Repeat once more with 2 teaspoons oil and remaining beef.
- Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to now-empty Dutch oven; reduce heat to medium-low.
- Add onions, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and tomato paste; cook, scraping bottom of pot with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits, until onions have released some moisture, about 5 minutes.
- Increase heat to medium and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are lightly browned, 12 to 14 minutes.
- Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add flour and stir until onions are evenly coated and flour is lightly browned, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in broths, scraping pan bottom to loosen browned bits; stir in beer, thyme, bay, vinegar, browned beef with any accumulated juices, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Increase heat to medium-high and bring to full simmer, stirring occasionally; cover partially, then place pot in oven.
- Cook until fork inserted into beef meets little resistance, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
- Discard thyme and bay. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper to taste and serve. (Can be cooled and refrigerated in airtight container for up to 4 days; reheat over medium-low heat.)