Brussels Stew

Also known as Flemish Beef Stew.

Each country has it’s signature stew or dish and, unsurprisingly, this Belgian stew is made with beer.

Notes:

This is a long slow cook and will produce fabulously tender, melt-in-the-mouth meat.  This first 4 hour cook can be done in a slow cooker on low and if your slow cooker can manage 2 stage cooking, the entire cook can be done in it.

This stew works really well with the cooking being done over 2 days.  Cook for the first 4 hours then cool rapidly in the casserole dish.  Place into fridge till the next day then reheat and continue the last 2 hour cook before serving.

The beer will change the characteristic of the stew.  Avoid using lager.  I would normally use Newcastle Brown Ale, Stout or Guinness but use whatever you have to hand and adjust any additional bitterness by adding a little more sugar at the end of the cooking and just before serving.

You may prefer the stew thicker, in which case, place stew on top of stove & thicken with flour/water mix or alternatively boil on top of stove (without thickening) for an extra 5 minutes but watch this constantly as it catches and burns easily.  The problem here is if you keep stirring it, the meat is so tender it may disintegrate – shaking the pot may help it to stop sticking and/or burning.

 

1kg Beef stewing meat, shin or chuck
Allspice, ground shake
Salt & pepper
Carrots, cubes 2 carrots
Onions, chopped 2 onions
Flour, plain 1 tbl
300gr Beer
300gr Beef stock
Sugar 1 tsp
Worcestershire sauce 1 tsp
Thyme, fresh leaves 1/2 tbl
Bayleaves 2 leaves

Heat frying pan and spray with sunflower oil.
Cut stewing steak into large 2” cubes
Sprinkle both sides with salt and one side with a small, light shake of allspice
Fry in oil to brown and fry for 5 minutes and place into casserole dish
Fry onion in frying pan for 5 mins scraping up from bottom.   Then add carrots and fry for a further 5 minutes
Add tomato paste and fry gently for another 2 minutes
Sprinkle over flour and fry for 2 minutes
Add beer, stock, sugar, worcestershire sauce, thyme and bayleaves and simmer for 2 minutes
Add beer sauce into meat in casserole dish
Add another sprinkle of salt and pepper to taste
Cover casserole dish and bake at 110degC FAN (120degC conventional) for 4 hours
Increase heat to 150degC and bake for another 2 hours

Serve with buttery mashed potato, buttered noodles or dumplings and boiled peas or steamed brocolli.

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