There are days when I could stand in the kitchen all day, making one delicious recipe after another. I wake up in the morning with creativity and food on the brain and I don’t stop until I fall into bed that night, exhausted and ridiculously happy. Then there are the rest of the days, when life and its other responsibilities crowd the brain and don’t allow for any fun! Boo. That’s when I like to make stews the most. Sure they take a little time up front, browning meat, cooking the onions and vegetables, but then it’s “sit back and relax” and let the oven make the magic. We eat for days, allowing me to get caught up on my work, making time for another fun filled day of creativity and food!
The first time we ate this beef carbonade we did as the the book The Food of France recommended, which was to serve this stew with dijon crostini. However I feel like meal 2 and 3 were the highlight. Instead of slicing the bread thin, adding dijon and baking until crispy and dry, I mixed a couple of Tbsp of olive oil with dijon, and tossed it in with large 1 inch by 1 inch bread cubes and broiled until golden. This makes large dijon croutons. We served the stew on top of the croutons along side green beans, and we were in heaven. The bread does a great job of absorbing all the lovely juices and distributes the mustard more evenly, which is crucial in balancing the flavors of the rich stew.
Carbonade means charcoal cooked. This boeuf carbonade is traditionally a Flemish recipe but it’s also popular in Northern France. Does this mean you need a hot bed of charcoals? Not so much. Fancy speak aside, this is a hearty oven cooked beef stew with beer. This a perfect weekend dish that you put on just after lunch so you’re greeted with the rich smell of stew when you arrive home for dinner.
Since there is only 2 of us, we also got to enjoy the leftovers for days, something that makes me really happy.
Boeuf Carbonade with Mixed Mushrooms and Dijon Crostini
Inspired by The Food of France
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 lbs lean beef or chuck steak cubed
- 4 onions
- 1/2 lb of mixed mushrooms (we used oyster, cremini and white)
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp flour ( we used sprouted spelt)
- 2 cups beer (a hoppy ale or stout)
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 sprigs of thyme
In a large oven proof pot with a heavy bottom and a tight fitting lid, such as a Dutch oven, melt the butter and 1 Tbsp of oil. Dry off the meat cubes with a paper towel. Over high heat, brown the meat in batches and set aside. Reduce the heat to medium.
Preheat oven to 300 F.
Roughly chop the onions. Clean the mushrooms with a paper towel or peel them. Give them a rough chop. Peel and mince the garlic. Add the remaining oil to the pan. Add the onions into the pot and cook for 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 7-8 minutes. Add the garlic and maple syrup and cook for 5 more minutes. Remove the onions and garlic from the pot and set aside. Pour the meat drippings that have drained off the browned meat into the pot along with the flour. Add the beer a little at a time, stirring to remove any lumps. Simmer, thicken and season with salt and pepper.
Return the meat and the onion mushrooms mixture back to the pot. Stir to cover with the beer sauce. Tuck in bay leaves and thyme sprigs.
Cover the stew with a tight fitting lid. Place in the oven to bake for 3 hours.
To make the Dijon Crostini, take thin slices of bread (baguette works well for this), spread a thin layer of dijon on one side. Place the bread slices on a baking dish and broil until crispy and golden. Place the crostini dijon side up on the stew to serve.
Instead of slicing the bread thin, adding dijon and baking until they’re crispy and dry, I like to mix a couple of Tbsp of olive oil with 1 tsp dijon, and tossed it in with large 1 inch by 1 inch bread cubes and broil until they’re golden brown. This makes large dijon croutons.
I’m sharing this with The Local Cook.