This is the type of Sunday supper that I adore. Mostly hands off, but 110% satisfying and everyone always eats it with glee. Belgian Beef Stew is stewing beef meat and beer cooked down together to form tender meat and the most delightful gravy (as I know it anyways). There’s something about meat, gravy and potatoes that makes dinner such a pleasant event in our house. So, basically we’re kind of weird, but that is totally okay with us.
I almost always pair this stew with fries of some sort, occasionally some Scottish roasted potatoes or a thick baguette just to confuse any interpretation of heritage of this dish 😉 The fries are great to soak up the gravy and I like having them crispy as a contrasting texture. Plus, fries and kids usually works out well as there ends up being little complaining about supper. In the photos here, I tossed frozen fries with some grated parmesan and then sprinkled with parsley when I took them out of the oven. They were a nice cheesy/salty pairing with the beef stew, addictive enough on their own, but shined when eaten with the meat.
The meat works for kids as it becomes so tender it is almost a pulled meat-like texture. I find this type of texture to be extremely easy for my kids to enjoy as it’s so tender it doesn’t end up taking them eons to chew a piece. The beer is cooked down so there’s no concern of alcohol in this dish, it just adds some nice acidity. There are bay leaves, garlic and onion which all boost the flavours in this stew immensely, increasing the flavour of the gravy and making it a sauce that you can’t get enough of. You know the one where you’re looking around for the last morsels of bread or fries to slop up the last little gravy pools on the plate?
I usually serve this with a very light and easy green salad or oven roasted broccoli. Something that is effortless and doesn’t compete with the dish but still gets lots of greens into everyone.
- 2 lbs stewing beef beef chuck, cut into 1-2" pieces
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- fine sea salt and fresh ground pepper to season
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil such as canola or grapeseed oil
- 1 medium yellow cooking onion, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 x 330 ml beer lager preferably
- 1 cup 250 ml beef broth
- 2 bay leaves dried or fresh
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves
In a large bowl, toss together beef and flour until beef is coated with flour. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in a heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown flour coated beef pieces until pot until well browned and crispy on the exterior, about 5-7 minutes (this may need to be done in batches to prevent the meat from steaming itself oppose to browning, I did it in 3 batches the last time I made this, but it probably should have been done in 4). Remove browned meat pieces from the pan and set aside in a bowl.
Reduce heat to medium and add onion to pot. Cook until starting to soften, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add bay leaves and beer. Cook for a moment while scraping the bottom of the pan to pick up all the good crunchy bits. Return heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Allow beer to reduce slightly then add beef broth and beef pieces into the pan. Again, bring to a boil, then partially cover and reduce heat to a low simmer.
Allow pot to simmer for about 90 minutes or until sauce has reduced, thickened, and meat is tender.
Stir in dijon mustard right before serving. Sprinkle with parsley.
Serve over fries, potatoes or with baguette.
This recipe was adapted/inspired by the Belgian Stew in Date Night In.