From the Chef's Belly

April 19, 2012

From the Chef's Belly

Do you have any special cooking memories? Maybe it's icing Christmas cookies with grandma, grilling burgers with dad, or learning the basics of the kitchen from mom. No matter what it is, there is always that one special dish or aroma that takes you back in time to another place.

Chef Marc has one particular authentic dish from his childhood. As a child, he would spend much of his time with his grandmother, as his father was a maritime shipping broker and would travel often. His grandmother was quite the cook and spent much of her day in the kitchen. Being a "grandma's boy," Marc was intrigued with the dishes she would whip up and took an interest in cooking from an early age. One of his favorite dishes was an authentic dish of Flemish beef stew with french fries that his grandma would surprise him with. Below he shares the recipe.

Flemish Beef stew

2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
3/8 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter
4 onions, diced
1 2/3 cups water
1 sprig fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle brown beer (preferred a little sweet beer)
1 slice bread
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
2 carrots, diced small
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar


Dredge the meat in the flour. In a Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Brown meat in butter, then add the onions and fry until glazed. Stir in water and vinegar. Season with thyme, bay leaves, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.
Mix in the beer. Spread mustard over bread, then add the bread and the carrots to the meat. Cover, and simmer for 45 minutes. Mix in the brown sugar (two tablespoons is a minimum.

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