Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Piney Woods Gourmand's beef carbonnade

Determined to keep the content flowing on Make Mine Beef even while my kitchen remodel prevents me from cooking, today I’m sharing a recipe that was passed along from my editor. I can’t wait to try it myself, and feel confident to share it with you in the meantime after hearing her rave on the dish, which can be cooked in the oven or a slow cooker.
This beef carbonnade recipe is courtesy of The Piney Woods Gourmand. Be sure to stop by their site and order the book for more great recipes!
2 tablespoons plus 2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 pound rump roast, cut into 1.5-inch cubes
2 large yellow onions, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon veal demi-glaze concentrate, dissolved in just enough hot water to make it pour*
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 (14- or 15- ounce) stout beer
2 bay leaves
4 fresh thyme sprigs
Salt and pepper to taste**
1 tablespoon Cognac or brandy
1 French baguette
Coarse grain mustard
Shredded Parmesan cheese
If using the oven, lower the oven rack to accommodate a Dutch oven with lid. Preheat to 300 degrees.
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter with the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Increase the heat to medium-high, and then add the beef. Cook, stirring frequently, until the beef is well browned and cooked through. When done, transfer to a plate. Cook the remainder of the beef in the same manner. It is not necessary to add more butter. Transfer to the plate.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the 2 tablespoons of butter. When the butter is melted, add the onions, garlic and brown sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Be sure to scrape any browned juices from the meat on the sides of the pot back into the onions. Add the thinned demi-glace and stir until the onions are well browned. Transfer the onions to a plate.
Reduce the heat to low and pour any accumulated juice from the plate of browned meat back into the pot. Sprinkle in the flour; stir well. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the beer a little at a time, allowing the foam to die down as you pour.
Return the pot to the heat and simmer gently to thicken the sauce, about 3 minutes. Add the meat and onions, bay leaves, thyme sprigs, salt and pepper. Stir well. Cover with a lid and cook in the oven for 3 hours. Alternately, place ingredients in a slow cooker; cover and cook on low for 6- to 8- hours.
About 30 minutes before serving, stir in the Cognac or brandy.
When ready to serve, slice the baguette intro rounds and smear each with mustard. Place the bread rounds on a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Toast in the oven until the bread is lightly browned and cheese slightly melted.
Serve carbonnade in large shallow bowls with bread rounds on top.

*To dissolve, heat the demi-glace with 1-2 tablespoons of water in a cup for about 1 minute in the microwave.
**Be careful not to add too much salt and pepper since the dish cooks for a long time and the flavors become concentrated.

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