“Carbonnade” stew and French fries

INGREDIENTS FOR 4 PEOPLE

  • 800 gm (1¾ lb.) of beef for stewing, in chunks
  • 50 gm (¼ cup + 1 tbsp.) of butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 large onions
  • 1 sprig of thyme and 2 bay leaves
  • 2 bottles of Chimay Grande Réserve
  • 2 slices of honey spice cake
  • 40 gm (¼ cup) of mustard
  • 1 soupspoon of Liège syrup (see tips)
  • fresh (not frozen) French fries

FOR THE APPLE SAUCE

  • 4 large Jonagold apples
  • 100 ml (1/3 cup) of Chimay Grande Réserve ale
  • 1 stick of cinnamon bark
  • fresh thyme

PREPARATION

  1. Peel the onions and cut them in thin slices.
  2. Melt the butter in a stewpot and braise the chunks of stew meat to a golden-brown.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Add the sliced onions, thyme, and bay leaves, cover, and let simmer briefly.
  3. Dampen with the Chimay Grande Réserve.
  4. Spread the slices of honey spice cake with the mustard and place, mustard side down, in the stewpot.  Cover and let simmer for an hour over low heat or in a preheated oven at 160°C/325°F.
  5. Remove from the burner or oven and end by adding the Liège syrup.
  6. For the apple sauce:  Peel and core the apples and cut them into chunks of equal size.  Put the chunks of apple in a pot and dampen with Chimay Blue Cap, add a stick of cinnamon and a branch of thyme, and cook, covered, over high heat.  Then lower the heat and let cook another twenty minutes.

PRESENTATION

Serve the stew with apple sauce on the side.  A portion of crispy, freshly-fried French fries will add just the right accent.