Thursday, September 6, 2018

Stoverij + Our Favorite Belgian Beer #NationalBeerDay


Today I'm hosting the Festive Foodies as we celebrate National Beer Day. Though I typically uncork wine as a food pairing, I do love a good beer. And I, especially, loved the challenge of coming up with a recipe that included beer. First, please take a look at what my fellow foodie bloggers posted for the celebration

The Line-Up

Our Favorite Belgian Beer

Over the past few years, I have been lucky enough to meet and interview Fabrice Rondia, a Belgian transplant here on California's central coast and the owner of Belgian Pacific. Most recently I visited him at the beginning of the summer; you can read my piece Brewers Drill for Water on Cannery Row for Edible Monterey Bay. 


At the end of our meeting he gave me a four-pack. I took it home, chilled it, and it became a summer staple. Whenever Jake wanted a beer, he opted for Leopold 7.


So, for this event, I knew that I wanted to pour our favorite Belgian beer. But I wanted to look for a Belgian recipe that included beer also. 

Stoverij 
Flemish Beef Stew

I was instantly intrigued by stoverij when someone else referred to it as "Belgium's response to chili cheese fries." This reminded me of something that Fabrice had said - that he doesn't just want people to drink Belgian beer. He wants people to use it as an ingredient. This recipe definitely fits that bill. I made the meat sauce the night before I was serving - like I do with chili - because I figured the flavors would have more time to meld.

I read that this Flemish beef stew can be served over chunks of whole grain bread, but it's traditionally served over crispy fried potatoes. I opted for the latter. Well, I opted for oven-crisped homemade fries. Delicious. The boys thought the sauce was too sweet; Jake and I really enjoyed it. Oh, well...you can't win 'em all.

Ingredients


  • 3 pounds chuck steak, deboned and cubed (I ended up with about 4 C meat)
  • 2 large onions, peeled and diced
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
  • 1 large beer
  • 1/4 C molasses
  • 2 to 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 t ground cloves
  • 2 to 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 to 3 sprigs thyme
  • balsamic vinegar, to taste
  • freshly ground salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • fries for serving (use your favorite recipe!)
Procedure

In a Dutch oven, melt butter in olive oil and brown the meat over medium heat. When all the meat is browned, raise the heat and pour a splash or two of the beer to the pot. Scrape the bottom of your pan to loosen the browned bits of meat. Stir in the onions and garlic. Cook until the onions have softened and are translucent. 

Pour in the remainder of the beer. Whisk in the molasses and stir in the herbs. Cook, covered, over low heat until the beef is fork tender, approximately 2 to 3 hours.

Remove the lid and simmer until the sauce has thickened. Add in a splash of balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Let cool before refrigerating if not eating immediately.


Make your fries. I made them in the oven with a recipe similar to this one. Slowly warm your meat sauce, if you cooked it ahead of time.


To serve, spoon your meat sauce into a shallow bowl. Top with crispy fries. Enjoy immediately!
Santé!!

4 comments:

  1. I love this Flemish version of Chili Fries...YUMMO!! Thanks for hosting Cam.

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  2. Thanks for hosting! I'm dodging fries right now, but a nice warm bowl of stew in the colder months sounds like a plan!

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  3. I love everything going on here with this chili! Thanks for hosting Camilla!

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  4. You are a wonderful host and this is a tasty recipe! love the flavors and adding homemade french fries are delish!

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