Flemish beef stew (carbonnade)
SERVES 4 PREP AND COOK TIME 8 HOURS 30 MINUTES
This classic Belgian dish is known for its rich, sweet and sour flavour, relying on the deep, dark Belgian-style beer.
¼ cup (35g) plain flour ¼ cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil 1.2kg gravy (shin) beef, trimmed, cut into 3cm pieces 4 (260g) rindless bacon slices, chopped coarsely 1 large (200g) onion, sliced thinly 3 cloves garlic, crushed 1 teaspoon caraway seeds 1½ cups (375ml) Belgian-style beer 1 cup (250ml) beef stock ¼ cup (70g) tomato paste 2 tablespoons brown sugar 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 2 sprigs fresh thyme 2 sprigs fresh tarragon 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, extra 1 tablespoon small tarragon leaves, extra
1 Place flour in a large bowl; season. 2 Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 4.5-litre (18-cup) slow cooker on sear (High) setting. Coat beef in flour; shake off excess (reserve excess flour). Cook beef, in batches, turning, for 5 minutes, or until well browned. Remove from cooker. 3 Reduce cooker to sauté (Medium) setting. Heat remaining oil in cooker; cook bacon, stirring, for 5 minutes or until browned. Add onion, garlic and caraway seeds; cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Sprinkle with reserved excess flour; cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Gradually stir in beer, then stock, paste, sugar and vinegar; bring to the boil. Add thyme and tarragon. 4 Return beef to cooker. Cook, covered, on Low, for 8 hours. Discard thyme and tarragon; season to taste. 5 Serve stew topped with extra herbs.
Suitable to freeze at the end of Step 4. Not suitable to microwave.