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French Fridays: Belgian Beef Stew with Beer & Spice Bread from My Paris Kitchen

David Lebovitz beef stew My Paris Kitchen on eatlivetravelwrite.comIt’s Friday and I’m in France. As I write this, I’m en route to spend a week in Paris after checking in on the house for a few days and getting it ready for our spring renters (interested in renting it? All the details here. It’d be the perfect location if you’re checking out the Euro 2016… Just saying…). So in the next few weeks, expect a lot more French posts – in the meantime, if you’re interested in seeing what I am up to, you can always follow me on Instagram 😉

For now, let’s talk about this week’s Cook the Book Fridays recipe from My Paris Kitchen Belgian Beef Stew with Beer & Spice Bread.  I was pretty excited to see this in the lineup because I lived in Belgium for a year (sidenote here – BelgiuM is the country, BelgiAN is the adjective describing things from the country. Sorry, rant over but that is a pet peeve) when I was younger and carbonnade flamande was one of my favourite winter dishes there. This is a rich beef stew with onions cooked in beer – I mean, what’s not to love? Well actually there’s an ingredient in the recipe that I mustn’t have paid attention to when I was there – spice bread – pain d’épices (real proper gingerbread cake) which acts as a thickener in the sauce. I did a little reading about the dish and realise that perhaps not everyone uses this (you can use regular flour or thick country bread slices to thicken the sauce too, though then you’d need to add some of the aromatic spices in the stew). I loved the spice bread on its own (especially toasted with a little butter!) and the stew on its own was outstanding. But the bread in the stew was not my thing. It was too sweet and made the sauce lumpy 🙁 But I’ll definitely make both of these again. I just won’t eat them together 😉

Get the recipe for  Belgian Beef Stew with Beer & Spice Bread on p 198 of My Paris Kitchen. You can find the recipe for the Spice Bread here.  You can find a version of the stew from Dorie Greenspan that I think I’d like better here.

MyParisKitchenDavidLebovitz

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Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of “My Paris Kitchen” for review purposes. I was not asked to write about the book, nor am I being compensated for doing do. All opinions 100% my own.

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30 Responses to French Fridays: Belgian Beef Stew with Beer & Spice Bread from My Paris Kitchen

  1. Rose March 18, 2016 at 14:56 #

    Interesting because “sweet” is definitely not how I would have described mine. Possibly my honey was not very sweet and I also swapped out some of it for molasses.

    Have fun in Paris!

    • Mardi Michels March 19, 2016 at 02:53 #

      The bread on its own was not sweet – but when I added it to the stew, it made the stew much too sweet for our liking. Seems I am in the minority on this one!

  2. mary hirsch March 18, 2016 at 20:18 #

    In the middle of reading your post about spelling Belgia(m) and Belgia(n), I had to link to my post to see if I spelled the word correctly. If I did (and, as I understand it, I did), it was only by accident. I didn’t know there was a difference although I know the country ends in an “m”. Maybe I just didn’t think about it. Enough about that. I didn’t have any trouble with taste or texture by adding the bread but I do think that this flavorful bread should not have to be relegated to dissolving in a stew. If I take the time to bake it, I think I want to enjoy every slice. And, toast with butter. Yes. Enjoy your time in France.

    • Mardi Michels March 19, 2016 at 02:53 #

      You are totally right – the bread WAS too good to eat just dissolved into stew. With butter it’s just too good to NOT enjoy on its own!

  3. mary hirsch March 18, 2016 at 20:21 #

    Belgium. Belgian. Now I AM mixed up.

  4. Nicole @ The 2nd 35 Years March 18, 2016 at 20:34 #

    I agree that the stew wasn’t as velvetty as I wanted it to be, but I still enjoyed it. In any event it is amazing on its own and it is so quick to make that I would easily make this again.

    • Mardi Michels March 19, 2016 at 02:52 #

      Definitely not velvety (that’s the word I was looking for!) but yes, definitely one to make again and eat the components separately!

  5. Nana March 18, 2016 at 21:08 #

    I cut the addition of the bread in half so there wasn’t too much to worry about. But, the bread alone with butter was so good. Enjoy your time in Paris.

    • Mardi Michels March 19, 2016 at 02:51 #

      That was a good plan – I wish I had halved the stew and added bread to only 1/2 of it too.

  6. Teresa March 19, 2016 at 03:57 #

    I haven’t made the stew yet, I’ll wait for an occasion when I’m cooking for more meat-eaters than just myself. It will be a good excuse to make the bread again. I shared some slices with my Dad and two of my co-op neighbours and now I’m regretting it, a little. It’s extraordinarily good.

  7. Piebird March 19, 2016 at 11:07 #

    Paris! Perfect! and I hear you on the grammar lesson. Our local TV news has frequent spelling typos, ouch! Yes, bread on the side sounds good too.

  8. Renee March 19, 2016 at 23:39 #

    I loved the bread. Straight from the oven, we ate nearly half the loaf! It was good in the stew, but I think it thickened it too much. Perhaps I would use less next time. The stew was really good, but it took quite a while before the bitterness subsided. We all enjoyed it, but probably a one time thing. The bread, I would make again for sure!

    Enjoy Paris!

  9. Shirley (Flourishen Test Kitchen) March 20, 2016 at 00:01 #

    Love to read your postings from French. I’ve never tasted this Belgian beer stew before. Didn’t know what to expect. Sensed that the amount of honey would make the cake/bread too sweet. So I made a spice yeast bread. I love how that added spice and sweetness to the stew, while thickening it at the same time. Certainly a new technique I would use again.

    • Mardi Michels March 21, 2016 at 12:49 #

      The bread itself was not sweet at all. It just made the stew too sweet for our liking…

  10. Margaret Jóhanna March 20, 2016 at 06:32 #

    My DH is more for beer than red wine so he loved it. His son is a big sweet tooth so he really enjoyed this as well. For me I like the slow cooking process.
    I´m glad you liked this one as well. Enjoy your time in Paris.

    • Mardi Michels March 21, 2016 at 12:48 #

      Well actually we didn’t really like the components together. Separately, yes, not together.

  11. Cher March 20, 2016 at 21:39 #

    I enjoyed both – the bread was really good on its own. It is nice to have a non-wine based beef stew in the arsenal.

    Safe travels!

    • Mardi Michels March 21, 2016 at 12:48 #

      It is true that it’s good to have a beef and beer stew in the recipe arsenal!

  12. sanya March 21, 2016 at 03:20 #

    I’m with you, I enjoyed them separately better!
    I’m also enjoying your instagram snaps 🙂

    • Mardi Michels March 21, 2016 at 12:47 #

      Thanks – and yes, definitely I liked both on their own, just not together.

  13. Betsy March 21, 2016 at 21:31 #

    I actually liked them together. My bread dissolved completely though, no lumps. Hope you’re having a great time in France!

    • Mardi Michels March 22, 2016 at 15:45 #

      Mine was not lumpy but the sauce was definitely not velvety as I like my stew sauces to be.

  14. Katie March 22, 2016 at 09:29 #

    Oh my goodness, Mardi, do people really do that–say Belgium when they mean Belgian? Lord. Anyway, sorry you didn’t enjoy the Belgium stew (sorry, I couldn’t help myself) so much. That bread, though, was awesome! I’ve loved seeing your France photos on Instagram!

    • Mardi Michels March 22, 2016 at 15:44 #

      Yes they do (today is a prime example of misuse of Belgium/ Belgian, even by reputable news agencies…). And yes, the bread was awesome!

  15. Karen March 24, 2016 at 18:30 #

    I loved the spice bread toasted with a little butter! The bread recipe is definitely a keeper!

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