Stinque Recipe Challenge

Tonight it’s Julia’s Carbonnades a la Flamande (Belgian Beef and Onions Braised in Beer):


3 lb. piece of lean beef from the chuck roast or rump

2-3 Tb. of reduced pork fat or good cooking oil (I used canola for it’s high heat capabilities)

6 cups of sliced onions

salt and pepper

4 cloves mashed garlic

1 cup strong beef stock or canned beef bouillon

2-3 cups light beer, Pilsner type (I used 550 ml bottle of Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown Ale)

2 Tb light brown sugar

Herb Bouquet – 6 parsley sprigs, 1/2 tsp of thyme, 1 bay leaf tied in cheesecloth

1.5 tbsp arrowroot or cornstarch blended with 2 tbsp wine vinegar


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cut the beef into slices about 2×4 inches across and 1/2 inch thick. Dry in paper towels, and put 1/16 inch layer of fat or oil into heavy-bottomed skillet. Heat until almost smoking, and brown beef slices quickly then set aside. I cooked the beef in 3 batches.

Fry the onions in the same fat, adding more fat if necessary. I had to do the onions in 2 batches – they reduced by about two-thirds.

Added some oil in between batches, and wound up with:

Season the onions with salt and pepper, add the garlic, and mix.

And here’s what it looks like when you put in a layer of beef, onion, beef, and onion – add salt and pepper to each layer of beef:

Bring the beef stock to a simmer, and pour it over the casserole:

And dump it into the casserole along with the beer, just covering the meat. Nestle the herb bouquet among the meat slices, but only after you stir in the brown sugar.

Bring casserole to the simmer on top of the stove, then cover and place in the lower third of the oven. Regulate the heat so the liquid remains at a slow simmer – cook for 2.5 to 3 hours until meat is fork tender. Here’s what it looks like about halfway through (I pulled it out to turn it and check for seasoning).

Ten minutes after 7 EST, and I think I’ll lower the heat and give it another hour.  Rest of the recipe will follow – basically it’s straining the liquid, adding the cornstarch/wine vinegar thickener, pouring it over the meat, and serving the whole thing over egg noodles with a side salad.

Here it is out of the oven and plated:

And that’s just what I did – spooned out the solids, strained the sauce, added the thickener, and served.  Better than the other recipe I’d used – we’re having it for breakfast as well. Bon appetit!


Mr Cyn is playing Iron Chef tonight with the fresh tombo tuna I picked up at the market and the veggies we got from our CSA. I’ve got dessert covered: the Barefoot Contessa’s lemon bars, made with the first Meyer lemons of the season.

Dungeness crab season starts Monday – whoo hooo! The best part of fall in Northern California…

@Mistress Cynica: Dinner at Chez SFL: Grilled skirt steak that has been marinating for five hours in Mr. SFL’s special secret sauce, Brussels sprouts pan-fried and tossed with pancetta, fresh green salad. Anderson Valley Zin for bottle #1. No dessert planned, but we’re not big sweets people here.

TJ/ Thanks, everyone for the sweet Birthday wishes and pictures of the hot guys. I really don’t know that I would do without you all, you know that?

@Tommmcatt: Sex God or AVATAR OF SEX?!?!?! You be the judge…: I’ve noticed that there are a lot of Asian guys over here in Beijing . . .

@Tommmcatt: Sex God or AVATAR OF SEX?!?!?! You be the judge…: We’re taking over!

@Dodgerblue: And some of my friends here actually complain about being too hot, but that’s usually only outdoors at mid-day.

@Tommmcatt: Sex God or AVATAR OF SEX?!?!?! You be the judge…: An iPad…wow! Tell Mr. TommCatt my birfday is in December if he wants to get me a little something something… And I thought I was extravagant by telling Mr. SFL about the new bathrobe I saw at Blood Bath and Beyond that I wanted him to get me for my birfday to replace the ratty 20 year old thing I currently use.

@Tommmcatt: Sex God or AVATAR OF SEX?!?!?! You be the judge…: Oh! Oh! Now that it is NO LONGER your birthday, I get to go all apoplectic with envy. >:-/

@SanFranLefty: Bathrobe? What is this thing of which you speak? :-*

@Tommmcatt: Sex God or AVATAR OF SEX?!?!?! You be the judge…: You don’t get any kisses.

Just so I’m clear – this recipe is far better than the ones I’ve used in the past for Carbonnades – it’s worth the time it takes.

Just saw a guy in Fairway who’s a dead ringer for Anthony Bourdain – asked him how often people come up to him. He said often, in fact Anthony Bourdain saw him on the street and approached. He gave Bourdain his autograph.

@blogenfreude: Love the Bourdain anecdote! Man bites dog. Did you get the dead ringer’s name? (If not, B has it.) For no good reason that reminds me of my favorite limerick, well, one of my favorite limericks.

A mathematician named Hall
Had a hexahedronical ball.
The cube of its weight
Times his pecker plus eight
Is his phone number – give him a call.

@blogenfreude: I’ll be in NYC for a week and a half starting next weekend. If I bring the beverage of your choice, any chance you would cook for me? Or (since it will be busy holiday time) we could just meet for a Stinque-Up and drink at a convenient bar. Keep me posted if you’re available/interested!

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