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Spring has definitely sprung and today would have been a great night to BBQ.  BUT since I had some stew meat to use up, I decide to pull out the good old reliable slow cooker perhaps one last time until the Fall (?) and make a nice hearty beer infused beef carbonnade.  It’s a Belgian dish and I choose this time to use a dark beer or more specifically Rickards Dark (an English style porter) because I had it on hand. 

I initially found the flavour quite strong so I added in some beef broth to help mellow it a bit.  And take the edge off it did….however the flavour of the dark ale was still present (and yummy by all accounts). We served it with a cheesy mashed potato.

Adapted from The 150 Best Slow Cooker Recipes

Crockpot Beef Carbonnade

2 tbsp oil
1/2 half a package bacon
2 lbs stewing beef
2 medium onions, sliced thin
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 tsp old bay seasoning (or celery seeds if you have on hand)
3 bay leaves
1 tsp seasoning salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup flour
2 cups beer (or beer/beef broth combo)

 

Season your stew meat with salt & pepper.

In a sauce pan over medium-high heat add a glug of oil and then brown your beef stew in batches. Transfer to Slowcooker.

Next add in your bacon and cook until crisp. Remove and drain on paper towel. Set aside. Once cool cut into 1 inch pieces and add to the slow cooker.

In pan with remaining bacon fat add in your sliced onions. Cook until soft. Add garlic, thyme, old bay seasoning, bay leaves, another dash of salt & pepper and cook for 1 minute or so. Sprinkle sugar over mixture in pan and stir well. Add flour and cook for another minute (stir as you go). Finally add your beer/broth combo, increase your heat a little and cook until mixture thickens.

Pour saucepan mixture over beef & bacon.  I give it a little stir, cover and cook on low for about 5-6 hours or until meat is tender. Remove bay leaves and serve immediately.

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