Friday, February 16, 2007

Beef Carbonade

When it gets cold outside we think of food's that stick to our ribs Beef Carbonade is one of those type of things you want to eat when you are trying to build your body fat. If you leave out the flour, and dust with the meat with spices before browning, and add a lo-carb thickener to the stew about a half hour before cooking it is a true low carb treat. Low carb thickener is great stuff, and I have no idea wht they put in it, probably some soy flour mixture, anyway the dish tastes identical either way. Splenda will work to caramelize the onions.

Beef Carbonade is a decadent Winter Style Stew from Belgium. It isn't the easiest thing to make because it requires some time consuming steps, but the it is basically stew meat, bacon, onions, dark beer, and a few simple spices.

5 Lbs Stew Meat
1 Lb Bacon
3 Large Sweet Onions
1 Bottle of Dark Beer
Carton Sliced Mushrooms
Dollops of Sour Creme
Scallions as a Garnish
Shallots as a garnish
Flour or Low Carb Thickener
Sugar, or Splenda just a dab to caramelize
Thyme Leaf
Seasoning Salt
Black Pepper

Sounds real simple right, well it isn't, if you are going to make this set aside a good hour and a half to put it together.

Start off by mixing the flour with the Thyme, Salt, and Pepper, and set to the side. If doing the lo-carb version omit the flour. I just use more thyme to build the crust of the browning of the meat.

In a dutch oven or metal pot dice and cook the bacon to semi crisp, drain and move to side. Slice the onions thin and fry in the bacon drippings til translucent. Once translucent add the sugar to caramelize the onions. Stir them at a medium temperature till they are caramelized. Take them out of the pot and drain in a wire strainer. Press all the bacon drippings out, and pour the drippings back into the dutch oven.

Mix the flour with the salt, pepper, and thyme. Dust the stew meat after it has been cut into bite size pieces with the blend and brown in the drippings. If you run out out of drippings use some vegetable oil. Once stew meat is browned press between paper towels to remove some of the oil. Place meat, onions, bacon, and one bottle of dark beer in the dutch oven and cook at 350 for 2:30 hours while stirring on occasion. Add mushrooms at the 2:00 point so they don;t get cooked down.

Serve with with sour cream, and chopped scallion's as a garnish. Great with buttered poppy seed noodles, dark bread like a warmed pumpernickle, and maybe some baked apples.

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