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    Carbonnade of Beef with Dijon Croutes

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    Carbonnade of Beef with Dijon Croutes

    In this old-fashioned beef stew, rich, dark gravy made with Guinness is seasoned with aromatic herbs and topped with a 'roof' of mustard-spread crusty French bread. Buy the braising steak freshly sliced from the Meat Service Counter.

    • Preparation time: 15 minutes
    • Cooking time: 150 minutes
    • Total time: 2 hours 45 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 45 minutes

    Serves: 4

    Ingredients

    • 1.5kg sliced braising steak
    • 2 tbsp vegetable oil or lard
    • 2 onions, peeled and finely sliced
    • 8 small shallots, peeled
    • 1 tbsp plain flour
    • 1 tsp light brown muscovado sugar
    • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
    • 500ml bottle Guinness Original
    • 1 pack fresh bouquet garni
    • 2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
    • About 10 thick slices baguette, cut on the diagonal
    • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Method

    1. Preheat the oven to 150ºC, gas mark 2. Cut the meat into large equal-sized pieces, between 5-6cm wide. Heat the oil or lard in a large flameproof casserole dish until very hot, then add the meat to seal and brown on both sides. You will have to do this in 2 batches. Transfer onto a plate and season generously.
    2. Add the onions and shallots to the casserole and fry over a fairly high heat, stirring constantly, for 3-4 minutes until the onions colour slightly. Reduce the heat and stir the flour into the onions, add the sugar and then the vinegar. Stir for a minute.
    3. Pour in about half the Guinness, stirring constantly, scraping the bottom of the dish to loosen the dark residue. Gradually add the remaining Guinness and 200ml cold water. Stir constantly until the liquid is thick and smooth, and comes to the boil. When it does so, reduce the heat immediately, simmer for a couple of minutes, then add the meat to the gravy.
    4. Add the bouquet garni and the garlic to the middle of the carbonnade, immersing it completely. Cover the dish, transfer it to the oven and cook for 2 hours.
    5. Take the dish out of the oven and remove the lid. Spread the bread thickly with the mustard and place, mustard-side up, on top of the stew and press down the slices to immerse slightly. Return to the oven uncovered and cook at 220ºC, gas mark 7, for a further 15 minutes or until the bread is brown and crisped at the edges. Serve with mashed potato and a green vegetable such as broccoli or green beans.
    6. To freeze, make to the end of step 4, allow to cool then freeze. Defrost in the fridge for 24 hours. Place the dish on the hob on a low heat and bring up to a simmer. Add the Dijon croutes and finish as directed in step 5.

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    Cook's tips

    Alternatively, cook the carbonnade covered, on the hob, for 1½ hours on a low heat, stirring every so often to avoid a crust developing on the bottom of the dish, and taking care not to let it boil. Finish in the oven as described in step 5.

    To freeze, make to the end of step 4, allow to cool then freeze. Defrost in the fridge for 24 hours. Place the dish on the hob on a low heat and bring up to a simmer. Add the Dijon croutes and finish as directed in step 5.

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