Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Belgium cooking with beer.

I've decided to make some posts about traditional drink in Europa countries. Now it is time for Belgium's beer. The Belgians are very proud of their beers, of which there are basically three types:

  • Bottom-fermented beers, which are brewed at a low temperature ( below 50 F, 10 C). They are pale and yellowish in color and , because of the hops, slightly bitter and dry taste. The best known brands Jupiler, La Stella, and La Maes.
  • Spontaneously fermented beers, a process which is triggered by bacteria and yeasts which naturally occur in the Senne valley.
  • Top-fermented beers, which can be brewed at higher temperatures (59-68F, 15-20C). Their color is usually copper to dark brown and their taste sweet and fruity.
Belgium's beer brewing tradition goes back about a thousand years. It is not surprising that beer is an ingredient in many Belgian recipes. Here is a traditional Belgium meat dishCarbonnades Flamandes or Flemish Beef Casserole.

Flemish Beef Casserole
ingredients (4 servings)
  • 1 kg beef shoulder
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 large onions
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 500 ml Gueuze, Lambic or any brown beer
  • 1 slice of bread
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
Cut the meat into large cubes and fry in the butter until brown on all sides. Add salt and pepper and remove from the frying pan. Cut onions into ringd and braise them lightly in the meat juices. Add the sugar and the beer and bring to the boil. Crumble the bread and add to the gravy together with the bouquet garni, vinegar, mustard and the meat. Cover and cook at low temperature for about 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. The best accompaniment is mushed potatoes and carrot.


Patricia Scarpin said...

If my husband sees this he'll drool!! :)

kickpleat said...

wow, this recipe looks incredible! after having so many great belgium beers on our trip, i was wondering how to recreate some of those belgium flavours! this looks perfect.