Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 3 hours 30 minutes
800g beef chuck or back ribs
3 tablespoons fat
3 large onions
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 bouquet garni comprising parsley, thyme, and a bay leaf
Salt and pepper
Flour and water for the sealing paste
Cut the meat into thin pieces of 50g each.
Season them with salt and pepper.
Heat the fat in a sauté pan. As soon as it begins smoking, brown the beef on each side.
Transfer immediately to a dish, retaining the fat.
Finely chop the onions. Sauté them until a light golden colour in the fat used to cook the beef. Remove the onions from the pan and stir in the flour. Cook, stirring all the time, over low heat, until the roux begins to darken slightly. Dilute it with the beer and the stock. Add a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper, the sugar, and the vinegar. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and leave to simmer on very low heat for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C).
Choose an ovenproof cooking pot or casserole dish of the appropriate size to hold the ingredients. Layer the beef alternately with the onions. In the centre, place the bouquet garni.
Strain the sauce through a chinois over the dish and bring to a boil. Make a roll of dough using a little fl our and water to seal the rim of the lid. Place the lid on the dish or pot and fit the dough around. Place in the oven for three hours.
Remove the dish from the oven. Take off the lid and remove the bouquet garni. Leave to rest for 6 minutes and skim the fat off the top of the sauce. Check its seasoning: there should not be too much sauce, and it should be slightly thickened. Serve in the cooking dish.
Alternatively, you can serve your carbonade in a deep serving dish. If you do so, remove the meat and keep warm and covered so that it doesn’t dry out. Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve or chinois, pressing down hard on the onions so that they form a purée. Reheat and combine with the meat.
Recipe from The Complete Bocuse, originally published in FrenchEntrée Magazine
Photo credit – Jean-Charles Vallant