Carbonnade is merely a type of beef stew that originated in Belgium and the area of France north of Paris. What makes this stew special is that it is made with beer.
Now, beer is a great way to tenderize meat but it can make it bitter so you want to be careful to use a good, dark ale. This will add sweetness to the dish. I prefer to use Shiner Black Lager because to me the flavors blend and balance well. What you end up with is a rich, meaty stew that has a slightly sweet and oniony flavor. Traditional recipes have it cooking for about two and a half hours on the stove but I prefer about eight hours in the slow cooker. It is simple to put together at breakfast time and will be making your entire house smell fabulous by dinner.
This stew is mostly meat. The broth is rich and flavorful so you will want to serve it with rice, egg noodles, or potatoes. I prefer egg noodles for this. The long slow cooking makes the meat so tender that it just melts in your mouth and the flavors of the beer, herbs, and onion just infuse into the beef. One thing I added to the traditional recipe was a can of Ro*Tel tomatoes. I like a little spice and this was the perfect addition as far as I am concerned.
If you are looking for a great dessert to go with this check out Anjou Pear Tarts with Balsamic Glaze..they are amazing…I promise!
Anjoy Pear Tarts with Balsamic Glaze end this meal nicely
Slow Cooked Carbonnade
- 3 lbs stew meat, cubed
- 2 sweet onions like vidalias, sliced (if using smaller onions use 5)
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tbs brown sugar
- 2 tbs dijon mustard
- 1 can Ro*Tel tomatoes
- 1 1/2 tbs Balsamic vinegar
- 1 bottle of dark ale
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sprig of thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- Add a little olive oil to a heavy frying pan and add the onions and garlic. Cook slowly for 10 minutes or so until caramelized.
- Remove onions and garlic and add the meat. Brown on all sides.
- Put the rest of the ingredients into a crock pot set on low.
- Add the meat, onion and garlic. Cover.
- Cook for 8 hours.
- Serve with rice, noodles, or potatoes.
images:marye audet (c) 2010
Tomato swirl bread is a recipe that I came up with a couple of years ago. I love tomato soup and toasted cheese, I mean who doesn’t, right? Well this bread is the perfect bread for the toasted cheese sandwiches that you dunk into the soup…It is also fantastic with summer salads and anything else you want to make. I originally posted this in 2007 and I need to update the images….In the meantime give this a try…it really is good.
YUM! This has a faint aftertaste of tomato soup!
I took the original tomato bread recipe from The Farm Journal Bread Cookbook. I did tweak it a bit as I felt that whole wheat would need a stronger flavor. This scented the entire kitchen this morning. It would make great toast to go with tomato soup, or cheese soup…it would be a good base for burgers…or even a bologna sandwich.
- 1 c tomato sauce
- 2 tbs butter
- 2 tbs brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cloves (just trust me, o.k.?)
- 2 Tbs ketchup
- 1 package of dry yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp)
- 1/4 c warm water
- 4 cups or so of whole wheat flour OR white flour OR a blend. I used whole wheat.
- Soften yeast in water.
- Heat tomato sauce, butter, and ketchup and let cool to lukewarm. Add sugar, cloves, salt and yeast mixture to tomato mixture and mix in enough flour to make a soft but kneadable dough (or mix according to mixer directions).
- Turn out and knead until smooth and elastic.
- Rub lightly with oil and set aside to rise.
Dough 2- whole wheat
- 1 1/2 c warm water
- 2 Tbs butter
- 2 tbs brown sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 pack dry yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp)
- 4 cups or so whole wheat flour
- Soften yeast in 1/4 c water with sugar. TO other 1 1/4 c water add butter until butter melts (you may need to microwave it and let cool to luke warm). Add salt and yeast mixture…then add flour until you get a soft, kneadable dough…proceed as above.
- Let balls of dough rise until double-about 1 1/2 hours. punch down and knead lightly…cut each ball of dough into 2 equal pieces. Let rest 10 minutes.
- Roll each ball out into a rectangle of equal sizes. Place a tomato dough rectangle on top of a whole wheat rectangle and roll up tightly pinching dough together at bottom to seal. Repeat with other loaf.
- Let rise in greased bread pans for 1 hour or until double.
Bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped…Let cool if you can.
I couldn’t find a definite answer to my question about the origins of Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake but most people believe that Hellman’s came up with it in the early half of the 1900s.
Who knows? The fact of the matter is that mayonnaise cake is fudgey, moist, chocolate Nirvana. There is something about the mayonnaise that reacts with the rest of the ingredients to create a crumb that is unlike anything else.. You can’t taste the mayo at all…and many recipes don’t call for eggs.
I used this Chocolate Mayonnaise cake recipe on Epicurious and added a few changes, such as an extra yolk for a moister, more dense cake. I made this in three layers with chocolate buttercream in between. It was fantastic… and maybe we were caked out from so many parties this week but there was cake left…and it was just as moist and fantastic the next day.
This cake will go together really quickly for you. There isn’t any separating of the eggs, fancy mixing, or special techniques – just a straight forward cake. You may want to put on a retro style apron and play some Big Band music while you put this together…don’t forget the heels and pearls…
I dust my cake pans for chocolate cake with cocoa. That way any cocoa that clings to the crust of the cake it the same color as the cake. Just do it the same way you do with white flour…spoon a little into a greased pan and shake it around until it covers all surfaces then dump it out.
Once the layers have completely cooled brush them lightly with your hand to get the loose cocoa and any crumbs off. Put the first layer on the cake plate, spoon your frosting on and you are ready to go….
Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake
- 4 ounces high quality 70% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate , chopped
- 1 cup Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa
- 1 3/4 cups boiling dark coffee or water
- 2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
- 1 1/3 cups mayonnaise (I prefer Hellman’s to anything else….but do not use reduced-fat or fat-free)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Grease and dust three 8 -inch cake pans with cocoa
- Combine chopped chocolate and cocoa in a bowl. Whisk in boiling coffee (or water) and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Set aside.
- Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
- With a mixer beat the sugar and the mayonnaise until blended. Add eggs one at a time, and finally the egg yolk.
- Beat in the vanilla.
- Add the flour in four additions, alternately with the chocolate mixture.
- Beat well after each addition.
- Divide batter evenly among the cake pans.
- Bake about 30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Cool cake for 20 minutes.
- Loosen cakes from sides of pans, turn out, and cool completely.
- 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate chopped
- 5 ounces semi sweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Melt chocolate in a double boiler.
- Beat the butter and powdered sugar until well blended and light.
- Add the melted chocolate and the vanilla and beat well.
- Refrigerate until thick enough to spread.
- Spread between layers, and on sides and top of the cake.
- Lick fingers.
This cake was so rich that I decided to go with a peanut butter ice cream rather than vanilla or chocolate. It was a great decision…brilliant even. I will be posting that recipe in the next day or two so check back, k?
images: marye audet
This is my (late) Real Food Real Quick recipe for this week. How much easier can it get?
You just need a bottle of Fischer and Weiser Raspberry Chipotle, some white wine, and some chicken breast. Now, the raspberry chipotle is an amazing sauce. The raspberry is sweet and tangy and the chipotle adds a nice, smoky heat. The flavors are amazingly versatile. You know how you buy a bottle of an unusual sauce and then it sits in the fridge until it spoils? Well that ain’t gonna happen.
See, this sauce is so amazingly versatile that you are gonna be using it on everything. Check it out:
- Pork tenderloin or butterfly chops
- Cornish hen
- Onion Rings
- Monte Cristo Sandwiches
- Sauce for chocolate mousse, chocolate cake, or brownies
- Base for a salad dressing
I am not lying – this sauce is going to become a staple in your larder. Don’t be afraid to buy a bottle of it. You will use it.
Marinate the chicken breast in the wine with a sprinkle of black pepper for about 3 hours or more. The easiest way to do this is to pop the chicken breast into a freezer bag when you get home from the grocery store, pour in the wine, and freeze until you need it. Just thaw and continue with the recipe.
Once you have finished marinating preheat the oven to 375F. Brush the chicken with the raspberry chipotle and place in a baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes, or until done. Be sure to brush the chicken with more sauce about twice more.
Is that it? Yep it is. It is so amazingly good.
This is an amazing pie. That’s all I know to say about it. Dark, creamy chocolate flavored with just a touch of bourbon… pecan praline with some chocolate chips tossed in… Drift a thick layer of heavy cream on top and you have chocolate heaven. Oh yeah.
What is it about pie, anyway? Most people are either pie people or cake people… kind of like dog people and cat people, I suppose. I have always been partial to pies (and cats). Maybe it is the flaky pastry… creamy-oozy fillings…the textural differences? I don’t know. I just know that I like pie…Or… Pah as my friend Donna would say.
Pie is awesome. Once you learn how to make crust (please don’t use frozen) that is. It took me ten years of hard work to learn how to make a crust that would roll without crumbling into tiny pieces, or being too wet… or having the texture of leather covered cement. What is the trick, you ask? HA! Add enough water. Simple. Make sure you measure the flour and butter right (you DO use butter?) and then add enough water to make it pliable like playdough. It’s a cinch. Easy as (wait for it)…… pie.
This is a showstopper… but is so easy that I promise you can do it. You can even bake the crust ahead, make the custard the day before and assemble the whole thing in a few minutes…
It’s just as easy…. as…. well, you know.
Chocolate Bourbon Praline Pie
1 baked 9″ pie crus
- 1/2 c dark brown sugar
- 1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter
- Melt together, stirring constantly, until sugar loses it’s graininess.
- Quickly pour into the bottom of the prepared crust, spreading to cover.
- Sprinkle with 1 1/2 c chopped pecans and 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Set aside.
Chocolate Bourbon Layer:
- 1c sugar
- 2 tbs flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa
- 2 egg yolks, beaten
- 2 14 oz cans evaporated milk (they have downsized! 12 oz now)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 Tbs bourbon
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup butter
- pinch salt
- Stir all ingredients except the egg yolks, vanilla, and butter together until they just begin to boil.
- Alllow to simmer until the mixture coats the back of a spoon and you can leave a clean trail down it with your finger.
- Add a little of the hot mixture to the egg yolks, stirring constantly.
- Add the egg yolks into the hot mixture, stirring so that it doesn’t form curds.
- Simmer for 2 minutes, whisking constantly.
- Remove from heat and add the butter and vanilla.
- Spoon into pie crust on top of the praline layer. Put it around the edges first and then fill in the middle.
Bourbon Whipped Cream
If you want to negate the alcohol content just simmer the bourbon for a few minutes and let cool before using.
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 – 4 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- Whip the cream until slightly thickened and then add the bourbon.
- Keep whipping while adding the sugar.
- Whip to soft peaks and spoon over pie.
8 servings (1 9 – 10 inch pie)