This week's recipe came as a result of thawing out what turned out to be a huge chunk of chuck roast, and needing an easy recipe. This recipe came from the 2007 America's Test Kitchen Favorites cookbook. It is very reminiscent of a recipe that I tried earlier in the year out of Mastering the Art of French Cooking - back in Week Five, Carbonnades a la Flamande. That time I did it with venison and followed Julia's instructions. Here's the "tested" version:
Carbonnade a la Flamande
3.5 lb chuck roast, cut into 1 inch cubes
3 T vegetable oil
2 lb yellow onions, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 tsp salt
1 T tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 T flour
3/4 c chicken broth
3/4 c beef broth
1 - bottle beer
4 sprigs thyme, or 1T dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1 T cider vinegar
Heat oven to 300 deg. Dry beef and season with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tsp of oil in dutch oven over med-high heat until beginning to smoke; add 1/3 beef to pot. Let cook without moving about 2 min, then turn using tongs and brown other side. Transfer browned beef to bowl. Repeat with remaining beef in 1/3 increments.
Add remaining 1 T oil to empty dutch oven; reduce heat to med-low. Add onions, salt and tomato paste; cook, scraping bottom of pot for about 5 min. Increase heat to med and continue to cook until onions are lightly browned. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the flour and stir til all is coated and flour is browned. Stir in broths, scraping bottom of pan to loosen browned bits; add beer, spices, and vinegar. Add beef with any accumulated juices. increase heat to med-high and bring to full simmer.
Cover partially, then place in oven and cook for about 2 hours until beef is fork-tender. Serve over noodles or mashed potatoes.
We ate it over noodles, as I somehow had no potatoes in the house to mash. It tasted very good, although I think I liked Julia's version a bit better. It makes quite a bit, and also reheats nicely with no loss of flavor. I might not use quite as much oil next time; I don't think I needed it. Overall, good, but not as good as Julia's!