Carbonnade a la Flamande (Belgian Beef, Beer, and Onion Stew)

From America's Test Kitchen Season 7: Best Beef Stew

Why this recipe works:

In a good carbonnade recipe, the heartiness of the beef should meld with the soft sweetness of sliced onions in a lightly thickened broth laced with the malty flavor of beer. Our tests revealed that the small, long, shoulder-cut blade steak was our best beef option, given its generous fat… read more

In a good carbonnade recipe, the heartiness of the beef should meld with the soft sweetness of sliced onions in a lightly thickened broth laced with the malty flavor of beer. Our tests revealed that the small, long, shoulder-cut blade steak was our best beef option, given its generous fat marbling, which provides flavor and a tender, buttery texture. Lots of thinly sliced yellow onions found their way into the pot next, and a spoonful of tomato paste and a couple of minced garlic cloves boosted the flavor. The key element of this Belgian stew, however, was the dark, potent ale, bathing the chunks of tender meat and the slivers of sweet onions. This beer, combined with equal portions of chicken and beef broth, gave us a beef stew with a strong, complex flavor.

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Serves 6

Top blade steaks (also called blade or flatiron steaks) are our first choice, but any boneless roast from the chuck will work. If you end up using a chuck roast, look for the chuck eye roast, an especially flavorful cut that can easily be trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces. Buttered egg noodles or mashed potatoes make excellent accompaniments to carbonnade. The traditional copper-colored Belgian ale works best in this stew. If you can't find one, choose another dark or amber-colored ale of your liking.

Ingredients

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