This dish is the same kind of cooking process as bœuf bourguignon. Slow cooking cuts of beef, first browned a bit then cooked in liquid for several hours. Bœuf bourguignon is cooked in red wine. This carbonade flamande comes from the Flemish Flandres region in Northern France, just next to Belgium, where there is an important tradition of beer. So here, meat is cooked in beer.
A few tips to cook the perfect carbonade flamande
- Ideally choose amber beer. The dish can however be prepared with other beers, just avoid too bitter beers.
- Pain d’épices and Dijon Mustard. The second trick of the recipe is to add slices of pain d’épices (the French honey and spices gingerbread) with Dijon mustard spread on it. It might seems strange to you but it actually gives an incredible taste and texture to the sauce (and the meet by extension).
Two solutions: either make my family’s honey and spices gingerbread, the recipe is since the beginning on the blog, see here.
Appart from thar the recipe is super simple. Beef, coated with flour, is pan fried for a few minutes. Then beer and onion are added. Some prefer to fry onions before pouring beer, that’s not necessary. Finally slices of gingerbread with mustard are added to the dish, just put them on top, they will quickly sink. Cook over medium – low heat for 3 hours, covered with a lid. Gingerbread with disappear in the sauce and together with flour that coated meat, it will thicken the sauce.