Flemish beef stew cooking in the best beer, Belgian style ! Average cooking skills are required, enjoy !
- Season the beef cubes with the salt and pepper and dredge with the flour. Shake off any excess.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large heavy skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking.
- Add the beef cubes and sauté until nicely browned on all sides.
- Work in batches so as not to crowd the beef cubes, or they will steam instead of sauté. Add 1 tablespoon of butter, if necessary.
- Transfer the beef cubes to a heavy Dutch oven.
- Add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter to the skillet and melt over medium heat.
- Add the onions and cook stirring occasionally, until browned, about 15 minutes.
- If necessary, raise the heat toward the end of the cooking time.
- It is important to brown the meat and the onions evenly to give the stew its deep brown color.
- The trick is to stir the onions just enough to avoid burning the but not so often as to interrupt the browning process.
- Combine the onions with the meat in the Dutch oven.
- Deglaze the skillet with the beer, scraping with a wooden spoon to loosen any brown bits, and bring to a boil.
- Pour the beer over the meant.
- Add the thyme and bay leaves.
- Simmer, covered, over low heat until the meat is very tender, 1½ to 2 hours.
- Before serving, stir in the red currant jelly and vinegar; simmer for 5 minutes.
- This sweet-and-sour combination will give this hearty stew its sprigs and bay leaves.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning and serve.