B-7: Blonde Belgian Beer Braised Boneless Beef
Serves: 6-7; Prep time: 30 minutes; cooking time: 3-4 hours!
My children named this dish for me and it is their favorite. Although it takes a long time to cook, it is an easy recipe because you can put it in the pot and leave for an hour or so and let it cook over low heat. You may only need to check on it every now and then. The advantage of this dish is that it uses a relatively inexpensive cut of meat and in the end it comes out as a real elegant dish which one can serve while entertaining. I serve it with a side of couscous (which soaks up the thick sauce) and a salad on the side. Or one can serve it with a side of creamy mashed potatoes (that also pair well with the sauce of the beef dish) or a rustic sourdough or whole wheat bread to soak up the sauce.
1. Season the pieces of meat with salt and pepper on both sides.
2. Heat up a heavy bottomed (preferably enameled cast iron pot) and pour the olive oil at the bottom of it.
3. Brown the meat on both sides.
4. While the meat is getting braised, peel and cut all the onions in rings.
5. Also peel and chop the garlic into small bits.
6. Take the meat out of the pot and set it aside.
7. Place the onions and garlic into the pot that you used for braising the beef and cook for 3-4 minutes while stirring it constantly. This ensures that all the onion and garlic pieces get covered with the olive oil and get a little cooked.
8. Place the meat back in the pot and pour the two bottle of beer into it (enough to cover or almost cover the beef chunks)
9. Season the sauce with salt and pepper according to taste.
10. I also add the red chilli flakes at this point but this is only because I need to add a bit of kick to every dish – it is entirely up to you if you want to add this ingredient or not.
11. Cover the pot and let the meat simmer over low heat.
12. Check on the meat every 30-40 minutes and stir it in the pot. If necessary turn the hunk of meat over.
13. After cooking the meat for 2-3 hours, place the sprigs of thyme into the pot and also grate a bit of fresh nutmeg into it.
14. When the meat is fork tender (as shown in the picture), take it out and set aside.
15. Continue cooking the liquid part of the sauce.
16. With a handheld electric blender, blend the sauce a little bit (make sure you don’t blend the thyme sprigs).
17. Serve the beef – either sliced and with the sauce in a separate dish (for a more elegant look), or serve it in a large dish with the beef swimming in the thick sauce.
18. Cut and sprinkle some flat-leafed parsley over the dish to add some color.