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I have been dying to make beef stew since I had this delicious local dish during my trip to Belgium. I looked around for recipes and they all were pretty much the same so I just went for it. The recipe consists of beef, onions, beer and thyme. It turned out well but it was not as good as the one I had in Belgium, of course. My sauce was not very thick. I cooked it in a crock pot so if I had cooked it on the stove it might have reduced some more. The Belgian version was richer in flavor, again if it reduced further it probably would have a richer flavor. Also, I used regular beer rather than a dark beer and chicken stock rather than beef which definitely affected the flavor. Next time I will get the dark beer and beef stock. Tasty nonetheless.

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I served crispy smashed fingerling potatoes and brussels sprouts with shallots and molasses.

Flemish Beef Stew

Ingredients:
2 lbs. beef cut into 2 inch cubes
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 large onion sliced
1 clove of garlic roughly chopped
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon thyme
12 oz. dark beer
1 cup beef stock

Directions:
Combine the beef, flour, salt and pepper in a bowl. Stir to coat the beef. Meanwhile, heat olive oil and butter in a pot over medium heat. Working in batches to not crowd the pan, brown the meat. Set aside. Add onions, garlic, all the seasonings, beer and stock. Scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen all the brown bits.

Transfer everything to a crock pot and cook for 4-5 hours. Season with salt and pepper to taste. For an authentic Belgian meal, serve with fries!

Tonight I doctored up the stew to make a pasta. I sauteed 2 large mushrooms finely diced in olive oil. I shredded the beef and added that and the liquid from the stew. I let that simmer while the pasta cooked. I added a big scoop of ricotta and parmesan cheese to the sauce and tossed it all together. To serve I added more ricotta and parmesan cheese. Yum! I was inspired by a delicious meat stuffed pasta at Perla.  DSCN6837

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