Flemish Beer Braised Beef & Onions, Carbonnade de Boeuf
In Pittsburgh we are beginning to see the first glimpses of spring. As I write, rain and fog are rolling over the city -- an oddly welcome change after months of snow and ice. With Saint Patrick's Day festivities this weekend, we thought it appropriate to celebrate the coming end to winter with our streamlined take on the rich and unctuous Flemish Beer Braised Beef & Onions, Carbonnade de Boeuf. This dish uses beer for 100% of the braising liquid, so pick one you really like. I used my homebrewed brown ale, which has a rich toastiness and mild bitterness. Be careful using a bitter or hoppy beer, since the cooking will concentrate these flavors considerably. While this dish takes some planning ahead (around 4 hours start to finish), it is straightforward to make and works every time. Your house will be filled with the enticing aromas of caramelized onions, braising meat, and simmering beer.