Flemish beef stew

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This classic Belgian dish is known for its rich, sweet-sour flavour, relying heavily on the deep, dark, Belgian style beer. If any sauce is leftover, toss through some pasta to give the dish another life.

Stew is suitable to freeze at the end of step 4.

¼ cup (35g) plain (all purpose) flour

¼ cup (60ml) olive oil

1.2 kg  gravy beef trimmed, cut into 3 cm (1 1/4inch ) pieces

4 rindless bacon slices chopped coarsely

1 large onion sliced thinly

3 cloves garlic crushed

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

1 ½ cups (375ml)  Belgian-style beer (we used Bruny Island Beer Co. Farm ale.)

1 cup ( 250ml) beef stock

¼ cup tomato paste

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 sprigs fresh thyme + 1 tablespoon extra leaves

2 sprigs fresh tarragon + 1 tablespoon extra leaves

 

1.       Place flour in large bowl; season with salt and pepper.

2.       Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 4-5 litre (18 cup) slow cooker on sear (High) setting.

Coat beef in flour, shake off excess (reserve excess flour).  Cook beef in batches, turning, for 5 minutes or until browned. Remove from cooker.

3.      Reduce cooker to saute ( Medium)  setting.  Heat remaining  oil in cooker; cook bacon, stirring  for 5 minutes. Gradually stir in beer, then stock, paste, sugar and vinegar; bring to the boil.  Add thyme and tarragon.

4.      Return beef to cooker. Cook covered, on low, for 8 hours. Discard thyme and tarragon; season to taste.

5.      Serve beef stew topped with extra thyme and tarragon.

Serve with creamy mashed potato or grilled crusty bread to mop up the juices.

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