Julia Child's Carbonnades à la Flamande

While in Austin, Emilie and I decided we'd try a Julia Child recipe to appease our aching, France-deprived hearts. We settled on Carbonnades à la Flamande. After a massive shopping spree at Whole Foods on 6th Street and South Lamar (this happens to be the flagship store), we returned to Emilie's apartment and went straight to work slicing and dicing some beef and onions. This recipe is too good not to share with you, so here it is: Ingredients:

  • A 3-lb. piece of lean beef from the chuck roast or rump (I chose the rump based on the butcher's suggestion that it is the more tender option)
  • 2 to 3 Tb rendered fresh pork fat or good cooking oil
  • A heavy skillet
  • 1 1/2 lbs. or 6 cups of sliced onions
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 cloves mashed garlic
  • A 9- to 10-inch fireproof casserole about 3 1/2 inches deep
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup strong beef stock or canned beef bouillon
  • 2 to 3 cups light beer, Pilsner type
  • 2 Tb light brown sugar
  • 1 large herb bouquet: 6 parsley sprigs, 1 bay leaf, and 1/2 tsp thyme tied in cheesecloth
  • 1 1/2 Tb arrowroot or cornstarch blended with 2 Tb wine vinegar
  • Parsley potatoes or buttered noodles
  • Parsley sprigs

After pre-heating the oven to 325 degrees, I cut the beef into slices approximately 2 by 4 inches across and 1/2 inch thick. We heated the cooking oil in the skillet, then browned the slices quickly and set them aside.

In the same skillet, we next stirred the onions over moderate heat for about 10 minutes until they were browned. When they were ready, we removed them from the heat and seasoned them with salt and pepper and stirred in the garlic.


Next, we layered the beef and onions in a casserole. No-brainer.

After heating up the bouillon in the skillet, we poured it over the onions and beef in the casserole then added the Pilsner to cover the beef. We had to make-do without a cheese cloth, but were able to bury the herbs in the center before bringing the casserole to a simmer, then moving it into the oven to cook for 2 1/2 hours.

While we waited:

Camembert, grapes, bread, wine and Seven Year Itch. My first time watching a Marilyn film.

The result...

My mouth is watering all over again.

For a detailed recipe from Williams-Sonoma: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/beef-and-onions-braised-in-beercarbonnades--a-la-flamande.html


Hope you try it! This truly was delicious.



A farewell breakfast, Texas style.

The McKenzie Family