Beef Carbonnade
Oh, the French.
Serves 6
3.5 pounds blade steaks or boneless chuck, trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch cubes
salt and ground black pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 yellow onions, halved and sliced about 1/4 inch thick (about 8 cups)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup beef broth
1 1/2 cups beer (12-ounce bottle) *Belgian beer is best
4 sprigs fresh thyme, tied with kitchen twine
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Heat oven to 300 degrees. Dry beef with paper towels, then season generously with salt and pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat until beginning to smoke; add about one-third of beef to pot. Cook without moving pieces until well browned, 2 to 3 minutes; using tongs, turn each piece and continue cooking until second side is well browned, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer browned beef to medium bowl. Repeat with additional 2 teaspoons oil and half of remaining beef. (If drippings in bottom of pot are very dark, add about 1/2 cup of above-listed chicken or beef broth and scrape pan bottom with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits; pour liquid into bowl with browned beef, then proceed.) Repeat once more with 2 teaspoons oil and remaining beef. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to empty Dutch oven; reduce heat to medium-low. Add onions, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and tomato paste; cook, scraping bottom of pot with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits, until onions have released some moisture, about 5 minutes. Increase heat to medium and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are lightly browned, 12 to 14 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add flour and stir until onions are evenly coated and flour is lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Stir in broths, scraping pan bottom to loosen browned bits; stir in beer, thyme, bay, vinegar, browned beef with any accumulated juices, and salt and pepper to taste. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to full simmer, stirring occasionally; cover partially, then place pot in oven. Cook until fork inserted into beef meets little resistance, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Remove thyme and bay leaves - discard. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper to taste and serve.