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Carbonnade A La Flamande Short-Ribs Hartwell Style

carbonnade-a-la-flamandeSo I took this recipe and made a few adjustments just to make it a little simpler. It was so good to find this too, as we had tried short-ribs before and had not been a fan. Now, I pretty much only use this recipe if making short ribs!

“Carbonnade is the quintessential Belgian comfort food; this recipe’s caramelized onions, brown sugar, and brown beer make the sweet stew addictive. Chef Palombino also recommends making this carbonnade with any muscular cut of beef that’s good for stewing, such as skirt and hanger steaks.” Bon Appetit – May 2010

1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 to 3 1/2 pounds beef short ribs (about 6)
1 large onion, sliced (about 3 cups)
1 tsp cinnamon
2 bay leaves
1 tsp crushed black peppercorns
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 12-ounce bottle Brown Ale
1 cup hot smoked tea (or a few drops of liquid hickory smoke seasoning and 1 cup black tea)
2 cups beef broth
1/3 cup golden brown sugar
1 12-ounce bottle Guinness stout
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 5x3x1/2-inch slice crusty country-style bread – per rib


Melt butter with oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat until butter starts to brown. Sprinkle short ribs with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Working in 2 batches, add short ribs to pot and cook until brown on all sides, turning every 4 minutes. Transfer ribs to crock pot.

Add onion to same pot and sauté over medium-high heat until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add cinnamon, bay leaves, pepper and Worcestershire sauce; stir 1 minute, sprinkle with flour and stir 1 minute. Add ale, tea & broth and brown sugar; bring to boil. Sprinkle lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour over short ribs in crock pot and turn on high heat for 2 hours.

Spread mustard over bread slices, then place bread slices atop short ribs in pot, pressing to submerge bread into liquid. Reduce heat to low and cook another 3-5 hours, when meat falls of the bone easily.

Transfer short ribs to plate. Strain pan juices through large sieve set over large sauce pan; reserve solids in strainer. Spoon fat from top of pan juices and discard. Return ribs to crock pot – place on warm or low. Boil juices until liquid is reduced, 15 to 20 minutes. Season juices to taste with salt and pepper. Mash solids and add to liquids, heat about 10 minutes longer. Transfer short ribs to serving plate, pour sauce over ribs and serve.

Original Recipe by Mathieu Palombino
Revised by Kimberly Hartwell
May 2010


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