I always try to eat delicious food. Unfortunately I don't have that much money, so I have to cook a lot of it at home. But thats OK because I love cooking and I love eating at home with my wife. This is a website with my favorite recipes and a little bit of commentary.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Flemish Wise Men - Vlaamse Wijze

I got this from one of my all time favorite cookbooks called Let's Go Dutch. We are all feeling a little under the weather so we wanted something not too spicy. Also we wanted something that would warm up the house a bit when it cooked. My wife found this great recipe for what is essentially beefsteaks braised in beer. It is served over fried cabbage and with a gravy made of the braising liquid.

As frequent readers of this site know, I am a huge fan of braising. Using this cooking method you can take an almost inedible and tough cut of meat and turn it into a delicacy. Tonight's dish was no exception. She bought the most garbagepail cut of meat and it was as good as a $100 steak. I modified the recipe just a touch to make it more consistent with good braising technique. This is cooked at low heat on the stovetop so it really isn't an oven braise.

Flemish Wise Men - Vlaamse Wijze

1 1/2 pounds very cheap beef steaks like sirloin
salt and pepper to sprinkle on steaks
4 T butter
50/50 mix of beer and beef broth - about 3 cups - enough to cover the meat halfway.
1 bouquet garni (see below)

a bed of fried cabbage with a few caraway seeds sprinkle in at the end

Trim the steaks of all fat and sprinkle each with salt and pepper. Melt butter in a skillet with a tightly fitting lid. Brown the steaks on each side briefly. Next pour in enough of the beer/broth mixture to halfway cover the steaks.

Next prepare the bouquet garni by tying a string around a couple of stalks of celery from the very top part of the plant (leaves and all), a bay leaf and a few sprigs of parsley.

Drop the bouquet in the pan. Place the lid on the pan and bring to a gentle simmer. Do not let it boil. Braise for about 2 hours.

Remove steaks from pot and place on a bed of fried cabbage seasoned with a sprinkle of caraway seeds. Make a gravy out of the pan juices by combining 2 T flour with 1/4 cup of water. Stir this mixture into 1 cup of the juices from the pan. Heat until the mixture thickens. Pour the gravy over the steaks and cabbage.

Serve with pan fried potatoes.

Here is a link to some great music to listen to while preparing your fancy feast!

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