The pairing is intoxicatingly good.
A homestyle dish that speaks of comfort food is beef short ribs cooked in beer. Popular in French restaurants called Boeuf Carbonnade, this dish integrates the flavors of dark beer, onions, and vegetables in beef browned in butter and tomato.
It has had several interpretations over the years. Some put the cooked stew in an ovenproof pot and top it with some gruyère cheese. They broil it to bubble up and toast the cheese to add more zest to the recipe.
Another style of this stew of Flemish origins is to serve it with sour cream and chopped fresh parsley.
Thickened with a 50/50 proportion of cooked flour and butter called roux, the flavorful sauce is great to eat with fresh egg pasta or spätzle, potato dumplings or gnocchi, mashed potatoes made sinful with more butter (either plain or with chives) and, in our setting, freshly steamed rice. The dish is simmered low and slow for one and a half to two hours.
I chose this recipe because of its accessible ingredients, especially in these quarantine times. Also, for the simple reason that my mother, though busy with entrepreneurial matters, would take time off to prepare this dish for a family dinner. So this is my take on the French bistro standard.
Beef Cooked in Beer
1 ½ kilo of beef short ribs, marinated in mustard, rosemary, tarragon, and pepper
5 pieces of peeled onions
1 big carrot cut into large pieces
5 stalks of leeks cut into 2-inch pieces
1 stalk celery, diced
¼ block of butter
½ cup tomato sauce
1 to 2 bottles of dark beer
1 sprig of fresh rosemary or 1 tsp. dried
2 sprigs of fresh tarragon or 1 ½ tsp. dried
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. cracked black pepper
2 tsp. sea salt
½ to 1 gallon beef stock
⅓ cup of flour
⅓ cup of butter
½ cup sour cream
1 tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
1. Fry and caramelize short ribs in butter until brown.
2. Add vegetables and sauté until light gold in color.
3. Pour tomato sauce to bronze the stew components.
4. Stir in beer and simmer for five minutes.
5. Add beef stock and simmer on low to medium heat for one and a half to two hours until meat is tender. Add more stock if needed.
6. In a separate pan, cook flour and butter to a paste and use as thickener. When done, add the roux to the sauce.
7. Serve hot topped with sour cream and parsley.
Video by Jules Vivas