Daube de Boeuf with Belgian Ale (Food and Wine)

Beef Stew with Belgian Ale

Just looking at pictures of the stew is making me hungry again.

This is not your standard beef, carrots, and potatoes stew. It does have all those things. But it also has incredibly nuanced flavors of thyme and bay leaves, the richness of the Belgian Ale, and the delightful tangy-ness of dijon and vinegar stirred in at the end.

The recipe notes state that this stew is “food with a hug.” Oh, it is. All food should be food with a hug, really.

It’s not that much more work than a typical beef stew. It did take me a perhaps ridiculous amount of time to trim three pounds of chuck steak and cube it. (It took me 20 minutes. I asked Christopher to do it for another recipe and it took him THREE MINUTES. THREE. He is now the designated meat cutter in our house).

So once you get through cutting meat and tossing it in flour, you happily brown it in your dutch oven. Then, setting the beef aside, you brown the onions and garlic. Some stuff is going to stick to the bottom of the pan and that’s okay because it adds flavor. It also will smell really great in your house right now.

Then you add the Belgian ale!  I used something from Trader Joes that was explained as the “American Take on the Belgian Ale,” take from that what you will.

There’s an herb bundle. I, perhaps distracted by my ever present longing for tacos, purchased cilantro instead of parsley. So I sprinkled in a little bit of dried parsley instead. If I had to rank herbs, parsley would be last. It’s FINE but it’s boring and usually just gets plopped on top of something as a “garnish” and everyone just pushes it to the side where it wilts, forlorn. So if you do not have fresh parsley, it didn’t matter for me and it won’t for you.

I did manage to use fresh thyme with dried bay leaves, and wrapped them in cheese cloth. At this point I discovered there was no twine to be found in our house, so I had to get very creative with cheese cloth knots.

After that, you mostly just wait around for the stew to cook in the oven, adding the potatoes and carrots near the end. Once it’s completely done and you remove the stew, stir in the final spices – red wine vinegar and dijon. I used whole grain dijon.

This stew is great. It’s even better leftover. When you eat it, it’s like your food is reaching up from your soup bowl and wrapping you in a warm, happy, loving hug. The kind you get from cake or pie or tacos.

You should really make this stew.

Daube de Boeuf with Belgian Ale (Food and Wine, recipe by Andrew Zimmern)

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds trimmed beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • One 12-ounce bottle Duvel or other Belgian golden ale
  • 4 cups beef stock or low-sodium broth
  • 3 thyme sprigs, 3 parsley sprigs and 1 bay leaf, tied in cheesecloth
  • 10 new potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 large carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Season the beef with salt and white pepper. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the beef and flour and shake well. Remove the beef from the bag, shaking off the excess flour. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil until shimmering. Add one-third of the beef and cook over moderately high heat until browned all over, about 5 minutes; reduce the heat if the meat browns too quickly. Transfer the meat to a plate. Repeat with the remaining oil and beef.
  2. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the casserole. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and browned, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the beer and cook, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the casserole. Add the beef back to the casserole along with the stock and herb bundle. Bring the stew to a boil, cover and bake for about 1 1/2 hours, until the meat is very tender.
  3. Gently stir the potatoes and carrots into the stew, cover and bake for about 25 minutes longer, until the vegetables are tender. Discard the herb bundle. Stir in the Dijon and vinegar, season the stew with salt and white pepper and serve.
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